Work has begun on the conversion of a dilapidated house in Dublin into the new James Joyce Cultural Centre.

The Georgian house at 35 North Great Georges Street will be restored to the original condition and will contain a reference library, study rooms, a bookshop and a café. The project is expected to cost over £1 million.

Reporter Paul Reynolds visited the house and spoke to chairman of the project, academic and Joycean scholar Senator David Norris, who lives on North Great Georges Street. Senator Norris describes the building with its

funny little fireplace... for keeping the butler's bum warm.

The house will also contain a flat on the top floor for

an aspiring young James Joyce to live and curate the cultural centre.

Norris also refutes claims that Joyce's work is unreadable making reference to a one hundred letter thunderclap on the first page of Finnegans Wake.


Paul Reynolds also meets Joyce's nephew Ken Monaghan who tells a story about Éamon de Valera allegedly having disguised himself as a woman in order to get to number 35 North Great Georges Street for a meeting of Saor Éire, which Norris jokingly refers to as "Sarah Éire". Senator Norris describes this as extraordinary saying

Imagine Dev thinking that he wouldn't be recognised dressed up as a woman.

This report by Paul Reynolds for 'Morning Ireland' was broadcast on 7 November 1991.