Terenure

In Brief

Terenure is a residential suburb about two miles SW of central Dublin. When track was laid for tramlines in the early 1870s it was the first locale to receive service. Terenure has some considerable significance in the novel as the location of Mat Dillon's house.

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In Sirens, Bloom thinks of meeting Marion Tweedy at that house in 1887: "First night when first I saw her at Mat Dillon's in Terenure. Yellow, black lace she wore. Musical chairs. We two the last. Fate. After her. Fate." Oxen of the Sun, on the other hand, recalls that meeting, and the first meeting of Stephen and Bloom, as having taken place in "the wellremembered grove of lilacs at Roundtown," and Ithaca confirms this location, noting that Stephen and Bloom met "in the lilacgarden of Matthew Dillon's house, Medina Villa, Kimmage road, Roundtown, in 1887."

The book's seemingly contradictory locations of Mat Dillon's house are not in fact so. Gifford notes that "By 1904 Roundtown had been renamed Terenure" (573). Bloom uses the contemporary name when he thinks of meeting his future wife. The narrative uses the name that was in force at the time of the meeting.

JH 2013
Two trams meeting at a Terenure crossroads ca. 1900. Source: www.census.nationalarchives.ie.