Most of the action of Cyclops takes place in "Barney
Kiernan's," a public house that is no longer in
business, though its painted-over façade remains. It is
located a block and a half west of Capel Street, just around
the corner from a courthouse on Green Street and not far from
the Four Courts. The legal milieu had a powerful influence on
the pub's clientele, conversations, and furnishings.
This grim little establishment adorned its walls with
memorabilia celebrating insurrections, trials, and executions,
a fact reflected in the episode's frequent references to law
courts, hangings, police blotters, and heroic violence. Given
the fervid spirit of Irish nationalism that prevails in the
bar, it seems hugely ironic that it is located (as we learn
late in the chapter) at "8, 9 and 10 little Britain
The proprietor of the pub never appears in Cyclops. It
seems possible, even likely, that he is the gentleman to whom
Joe Hynes refers just before suggesting a visit to Barney
— What about paying our respects to our friend? says Joe.
— Who? says I. Sure, he's out in John of God's off his head, poor man.
— Drinking his own stuff? says Joe.
— Ay, says I. Whisky and water on the brain.
— Come around to Barney Kiernan’s, says Joe. I want to see the citizen.
— Barney mavourneen's be it, says I.
The House of St. John of God was a facility for people with
mental illness in Stillorgan, a southeastern suburb west of
Kingstown. The implication is that the pub owner has entered
the asylum to recover from the DTs, the fruit of "drinking his
As of mid-2019 the building that housed the pub was for sale,
and a rumor (perhaps fueled by wishful thinking) was
circulating that a developer had proposed bringing the
establishment back to life. Were that to happen, Barney
Kiernan's would instantly join the short list of top sites for
the world's Joyce tourists.