Swaddlers! Swaddlers!


    We walked along the North Strand Road till we came to the Vitriol Works and then turned to the right along the Wharf Road. Mahony began to play the Indian as soon as we were out of public sight. He chased a crowd of ragged girls, brandishing his unloaded catapult and, when two ragged boys began, out of chivalry, to fling stones at us, he proposed that we should charge them. I objected that the boys were too small and so we walked on, the ragged troop screaming after us Swaddlers! Swaddlers! thinking that we were Protestants because Mahony, who was dark complexioned, wore the silver badge of a cricket club in his cap.

James Joyce. An Encounter, Dubliners (Page 14,15)

In An Encounter the boys head out the North Strand Road before turning right along the Wharf Road. The Wharf Road is now East Wall Road, and may have been that when the story was written.

The boys turn right onto Wharf Road at the Vitriol Works. You can see more information on them here

As the boys went down to the north quays they would have passed the train depot which became the Point Depot and then the O2. Directly across the river can be seen the spire of the church in Ringsend Village. The field overlooking the Dodder River was probably south of Fitzwilliam Quay.

From The Point I ran back via Seville Place and Portland Row, which features in the Wandering Rocks episode of Ulysses


Joyce, J. (2006) Dubliners, Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. Edited by Margot Norris, Hans Walter Gabler, and Walter Hettche. New York, United States: Norton, W. W. & Company.

Click here to see the route details on Runkeeper

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