Joyce-Cycle Project Updates

A very productive workshop on Saturday in Tailors hall in preparation for the Dublin Cycling pageant in the #StPatricksFest celebrating Irish #writers #poets #bicycles in #parade St. Patrick’s Festival Ireland
IMPORTANT project Dates
Friday 1st March deadline for submissions to our Poetry competition in collaboration with Poetry Ireland / Éigse Éireann
Saturday 2nd March Next pageant making workshop is in Tailors Hall starting at 11 am.
Thursday 7th March Press launch by invitation announcement of winners of poetry competition 11 am Venue Poetry Ireland.
Saturday 9th March Dress rehearsals book in for one hour slots from 11 am venue Tailors Hall, logistics and wristbands distributed to participants.
Sunday the 17th of March The Big Day has arrived #StPatricksDayParade
There are still a few places left if you contact me quickly. Email

The Title of the Dublin Cycle Campaign in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2019 is Joyce-Cycle..

The Bicycle by Derek Mahon

There was a bicycle, a fine
Raleigh with five gears
And racing handlebars.
It stood at the front door
Begging to be mounted;
The frame shone in the sun.

I became like a character
In “The Third Policeman,” half
Human, half bike, my life
A series of dips and ridges,
Happiness a free-wheeling
Past fragrant hawthorn hedges.


Cape and sou’wester streamed

With rain when I rode to school

Side-tracking the bus routes.
Night after night I dreamed
Of valves, pumps, sprockets,
Reflectors and repair kits.

Soon there were long rides
In the country, wet week-ends
Playing snap in the kitchens
Of mountain youth-hostels,
Day-runs to Monaghan,
Rough and exotic roads.

It went with me to Dublin
Where I sold it the same winter;
But its wheels still sing
In the memory, stars that turn
About an eternal centre,
The bright spokes glittering




Poetry competition launched 14/02/2019

Valentine’s Day Love Your Bike Poetry

#LoveyourBike #LovePoetry

On Valentine’s Day, when you might be penning a love poem to your nearest and dearest, Dublin Cycling Campaign is launching a poetry competition on the theme of the beloved bicycle. As many cyclists already know, you can become very attached to your bicycle. Expressed in the words of Flann O’Brien, in ‘The Third Policeman’, written at the end of the 1930s but published only posthumously, he outlined his “Atomic Theory” of cycling: spend too long on a bike, O’Brien argued, and you’ll begin to exchange atoms with your machine!

Joyce-cycle is a pageant of over one hundred participants of all ages on bicycles on the theme of Irish writers, who will be participating in the St. Patrick’s Parade on behalf of Dublin Cycling Campaign.

As we joyfully celebrate the many Irish writers who incorporated the bicycle in their literature, Dublin Cycling Campaign is today launching a poetry competition in collaboration with Poetry Ireland on the theme of bicycles. There will be a junior under 16 and senior category, with cash prizes ranging between €200 and €500. Winning poems will be published online and printed, with the poet retaining copyright for any further publications.

There will be three judges, one from the Dublin Cycling Campaign, one from Poetry Ireland and one from the sponsors.

It would be preferable if poems were no more than 40 lines, but can be as few lines as you wish. They must be original and previously unpublished.

There is no entry fee and you may submit multiple poems.

The final date for submitting your poem is midnight on the 1st March and winners will be announced on the 7th of March. POETRY COMPETITION FORM

There will be a further press launch on the 7th March when the winners of the Poetry Competition will be invited to read their poems.

Dublin Cycling Campaign will be in the main body of the parade, following on from the success of its highly-regarded pageant Freedom Machine last year. The Campaign will be ahead of a marching band and guaranteed RTE live coverage, and will also be included in the Irish Times Festival Guide and the main St. Patrick’s Festival Guide. Printed versions of the winning poems on cards and bookmarks will be given out to the watching public on St. Patrick’s Day, to encourage interaction and promote the winning poets.

For more information: Check out the pageant website Joyce-Cycle

Contact: Donna Cooney:

Coordinator Joyce-Cycle for Dublin Cycling Campaign

M. 083 3317190 – Email:

– Twitter & Instagram @donna_cooney1

We celebrate Irish Writers and the connection with the bicycle. From James Joyce, Jonathan Swift, Sterne, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett, Flann O’Brien and many others that have found inspiration from the bicycle.

The concept is by Artist Donna Cooney who developed the highly regarded Freedom Machine in the 2018 Parade. Ms. Cooney will co-ordinate Joyce-Cycle in this year’s parade. The parade creative team will be assisted by Artist’s Laragh Pittman and Gary Brady who also worked on the Freedom Machine pageant.

Flann O’Brien, The Third Policeman (1968

Though he wasn’t much of a cyclist himself, Flann O’Brien must be the patron saint of all cycling literature. In The Third Policeman, written at the end of the 1930s but published only posthumously, he outlined his “Atomic Theory” of cycling: spend too long on a bike, O’Brien argued, and you’ll begin to exchange atoms with your machine. “You would be surprised at the number of people in these parts,” says one of the titular policemen to the nameless narrator of O’Brien’s novel, “who are nearly half people and half bicycles.”

In the circular hell described in the book, keen cyclists end their lives sleeping standing in hallways with their elbows propped up against walls. Bicycles take on humanity, and begin creeping around at night and stealing from pantries. It’s all gloriously weird.

Beckett’s character Molloy “A confused shadow was cast. It was I and my bicycle. I began to play gesticulating, waving my hat, moving my bicycle to and fro before me, blowing the horn, watching the wall. They were watching me through the bars; I felt their eyes upon me. The policeman on guard at the door told me to go away. He needn’t have, I was calm again. (GII.21)

Samuel Beckett, Molloy (1951)

O’Brien’s fellow Irishman Beckett was a huge cycling fan. The literary critic Hugh Kenner argued that his most famous (and most famously absent) creation, Godot, was himself based on a Monsieur Godeau, a French national champion racer.

The spirit of cycling suffuses Beckett’s novel Molloy. You can hear the pedal strokes in the staccato rhythms of his sentences. Molloy himself is so dependent on his bicycle that when he is separated from it he can barely move, and is forced to ratchet himself along the road on his crutches. For Beckett, bikes were more than mere vehicles: they were prostheses.

There will be over one hundred participants of all ages from babies to those nearing their 90’s. This creative Joyce-Cycle pageant will bring to life the wonderful writings of some of our best loved Irish writers. Participants will take part in workshops in Tailors hall to create the pageant.

We will also be joined by contemporary Irish writers and well known faces astride and merged with their beloved bicycles.

There will also be a poetry competition on the theme of bicycles in collaboration with Poetry Ireland with winners in the under and over 16 categories. The writers will win a cash prize. Winning Poems will be published online and printed. Printed poems on cards and book markers will be given out to the public viewers on the day to encourage interaction.

This is the first year that the Dublin Cycling Campaign will be in the main body of the parade this is due to the success of our pageant last year. We will be ahead of a marching band and guaranteed RTE live coverage, we will also be included in the Irish Times festival Guide and the main St. Patrick’s Day festival guide.



We will also celebrate the amazing writings of Dervla Murphy is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, about an overland cycling trip through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. She followed this with volunteer work helping Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal and trekking with a mule through Ethiopia. Murphy took a break from travel writing following the birth of her daughter, and then wrote about her travels with Rachel in India, Pakistan, South America, Madagascar and Cameroon. She later wrote about her solo trips through Romania, Africa, Lagos, the states of the former Yugoslavia and Siberia. In 2005, she visited Cuba with her daughter and three granddaughters.

Dervla Murphy is an Irish touring cyclist and author of adventure travel books for over 40 years. Murphy is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt:

Stewart Parker


‘Stewart Parker’s play Spokesong, which was the hit of the 1975 Dublin Theatre festival and was done in London, New York and all over the world. It is all about the bicycle, set in an old bike shop in Belfast that’s being threatened with demolition by the city council in favour of a road-widening scheme. It’s a celebration of the history of the bike as a democratic force (including the emancipation of women – one of the characters is a Suffragette.).

Stewart is one of the most important writers to come out of the North, a contemporary of Stephen Rea and Seamus Heaney, who were his friends at Queen’s. He died far too young, in 1988. He was also a Joyce scholar’

Lynne Parker

Artistic Director

Extract from the play Spokesong


Imagine the city as a giant body… That’s what it really is. Diagnosis not good. Circulation sluggish. Lungs, badly congested. Severe constipation. So what does this plan propose as a cure? Great Scott – a heart transplant!


 Sorry to butt in again, Mr Stock… Just to say, if you could be as concise as possible, for the sake of the other objectors…


Two words, that’s all. It’s brutal. It’s demented. Ripping out the houses and shops and people – whole communities – so that you can truss up the city centre with enormous roads, coiling thirty feet up in the air, ramming themselves across the river and through parks and into every resident’s nervous condition. Sit back and think about it – just for a minute.

You can look out from my shop straight up a hill that’s a main route into the city centre. Every morning, down they come, roaring and tumbling headlong – the commuters – the gabardine swine. They get to the intersection at the bottom – and immediately turn into a snarling, writhing, raveled-up knot of ulcerous vindictiveness. We shouldn’t be promoting that. We ought to be outlawing it. The time has come to rediscover the faithful bicycle.

What it all comes down to – is personal mobility in an area of maybe five square miles. At the moment there’s just five square miles of anger and internal combustion. But supposing all the cars could be banished…What would be left. Buses. Taxis. Feet. Buses travel on fixed routes at fixed intervals. Taxis are expensive, wasteful and luxurious. Feet take too long and get too tired. Something more is needed…Imagine a fleet of civic bikes…gleaming with the city’s coat of arms…stacked on covered racks on the corner of every street…which anyone can ride anywhere, free of charge, inside the city centre. The air clean. The people healthy. The time saved. The energy conserved. Earth would not have anything to show more fair.

Rough Magic Theatre Company


For more information: Check out the pageant website Joyce-Cycle

Contact: Donna Cooney: Co-ordinator Joyce-Cycle for Dublin Cycling Campaign

M. 083 3317190 – Email: – Twitter & Instagram @donna_cooney1

healthy ireland logo

logo dcc


One thought on “Joyce-Cycle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s