Work has begun on the conversion of a dilapidated Georgian 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 David 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.

David 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.


James Joyce's nephew Ken Monaghan 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 David Norris jokingly refers to as "Sarah Éire".

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

This report 'Morning Ireland' was broadcast on 7 November 1991. The reporter is Paul Reynolds.