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"James Joyce and 'Ulysses'" (2004)

Commentary No. 5 – CSORP extract (1904)


Mr. Nannetti's question No. 5 for 16 June 1904

Mr. Nannetti's question No. 5 for 16 June 1904

Councillor JP Nannetti, MP, was Member of Parliament for College Green for the Irish Party in 1904. He later became Lord Mayor of Dublin (1906-1907), an achievement predicted by Bloom in Ulysses. He was also foreman printer at the Freeman’s Journal, and in this capacity, in the Aeolus episode of Ulysses, deals with Leopold Bloom’s request to place an advertisement in the newspaper for the House of Keyes. He is referred to at length in the Cyclops episode, the denizens of Barney Kiernan’s making fun of parliamentary language:

“– Anyhow, says Joe. Field and Nannetti are going over tonight to London to ask about it on the floor of the House of Commons.

– Are you sure, says Bloom, the councillor is going? I wanted to see him, as it happens.

– Well, he’s going off by the mailboat, says Joe, tonight.

– That’s too bad, says Bloom. I wanted particularly. Perhaps only Mr Field is going. I couldn’t phone. No. You’re sure?

– Nannan’s going too, says Joe. The league told him to ask a question tomorrow about the commissioner of police forbidding Irish games in the park. What do you think of that, citizen? The Sluagh na h-Eireann.

Mr Cowe Conacre (Multifarnham. Nat): Arising out of the question of my honourable friend, the member for Shillelagh, may I ask the right honourable gentleman whether the Government has issued orders that these animals shall be slaughtered though no medical evidence is forthcoming as to their pathological condition?

Mr Allfours (Tamoshant. Con): Honourable members are already in possession of the evidence produced before a committee of the whole house. I feel I cannot usefully add anything to that. The answer to the honourable member’s question is in the affirmative.

Mr Orelli (Montenotte. Nat): Have similar orders been issued for the slaughter of human animals who dare to play Irish games in the Phoenix park?

Mr Allfours: The answer is in the negative.

Mr Cowe Conacre: Has the right honourable gentleman’s famous Mitchelstown telegram inspired the policy of gentlemen on the treasury bench? (O! O!)

Mr Allfours: I must have notice of that question.

Mr Staylewit (Buncombe. Ind.): Don’t hesitate to shoot.

(Ironical opposition cheers.)

The speaker: Order! Order!

(The house rises. Cheers.)”

The extract from a Chief Secretary’s Office Registered Paper reproduced here deals with the precise question of playing Irish games in the Phoenix Park, a question to be asked on 16 June, 1904. As can be seen, disagreement exists between Nannetti and the Chief Secretary’s Office as to the ownership of the Phoenix Park, Nannetti contending that it belongs to “the Citizens of Dublin”, and the Chief Secretary insisting “it is the property of the Crown.” Nannetti died in 1915.

Mr. Nannetti's question No. 5 for 16 June 1904

Mr. Nannetti's question No. 5 for 16 June 1904

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