Celebrating James Joyce’s on Bloomsday: Vision Ireland Honors the Iconic Visually Impaired Writer

celebrating James Joyce with the James Joyce Cultural centre

For Bloomsday 2024, Vision Ireland is delighted to be once again celebrating the importance of James Joyce as a visually impaired writer.

From childhood, James Joyce suffered with his eyesight and had to overcome ten difficult eye operations. Despite all the pain and challenges this brought to his life and work, it’s the clarity of his writing and the extraordinary vision and insight in his sense of character and place that still astounds readers all over the world to this today.

The connections between Joyce and vision impairment and Vision Ireland are numerous, from his own experiences of being vision impaired through to some of his characters being blind, to his father’s death in our Vision Ireland national headquarters in the former Drumcondra fever hospital.
In collaboration with the James Joyce Cultural Centre, we created a series of videos to celebrate these many connections through a range of presenters reading or singing extracts of Joyce’s work.

Darina Gallagher, Director of the James Joyce Cultural Centre, said, “People often overlook or are unaware that James Joyce was visually impaired. It is important to celebrate this part of him and how it influenced his highly acclaimed work. It demonstrates how his vision impairment did not hinder his artistic talent and accomplishments. A lesson that is equally important today when we need to focus on ability rather than disability.”

In celebration, we are once again delighted to share our beautiful video series, which includes:

Senator David Norris reading an excerpt from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Emilie Conway, a visually impaired artist, doing a dramatization from a scene from Ulysses.
Maya Kostick, a young digital Braille reader, reciting an extract from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Frank Callery, a historian, discussing the connections between the Joyce family, Joyce’s characters, and vision impairment.
Darina Gallagher, Director of the James Joyce Cultural Centre, reading from Ulysses.

You can access the series below:

Join us in celebrating the legacy of James Joyce, whose vision continues to inspire and resonate, proving that ability shines through, regardless of physical challenges.

For information about Bloomsday events please visit the Bloomsday Festival programme page.