The Dublin United Tramways Company was a private conglomerate that operated most of the city's trams. It was dominated by a journalist and businessman named William Martin Murphy.
Beginning in 1871, several different companies laid tracks
for urban tramlines to various points in central Dublin and
its near suburbs, and eventually to the more distant tourist
locales of Poulaphouca Falls and Howth. Murphy founded the
DUTC in 1881 and began merging companies, installing himself
as Chairman of the conglomerate. Beginning in 1896 the company
began the electrification of its trams, which had previously
been horse-drawn. Most of Dublin's trams were electrified by
early 1901—a source of considerable civic pride, as it put
Dublin in the vanguard of European cities.
The DUTC is first mentioned in Aeolus, as "The hoarse Dublin United Tramway Company’s timekeeper" calls out the destinations of various departing trams. It is mentioned again in Eumaeus when "a Dublin United Tramways Company’s sandstrewer" passes by Bloom and Stephen, prompting Bloom to mention his close encounter with one of these machines at the beginning of Circe. A final mention comes in Ithaca when Bloom, contemplating once more his scheme to transport cattle to the Liffey docks by rail, thinks that the "