Dublin councillors are fighting to have James Joyce's remains brought back to Ireland
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Dublin councillors are fighting to have James Joyce's remains brought back to Ireland

"He wanted to be buried here."

A meeting of Dublin councillors in a South East Area committee took an interesting turn this week when two members, Dermot Lacey and Paddy McCartan, put forward a motion to have writer James Joyce's remains exhumed from Switzerland and returned to his home country of Ireland.

According to The Irish Times, the councillors argued that it had been the wish of the late great author, and that of his wife Nora Barnacle, that they be buried in Dublin.

“It would appear he wanted to be buried here, and it would be nice to do it on the centenary of the publication of one of the most important books of modern literature," Councillor Lacey said.

“It would be a good thing for Ireland,” he added.

Councillor Lacey had conferred with Joycean experts ahead of putting the motion forward, and they reportedly confirmed that it had indeed been the wishes of Mr Joyce that he be buried in Ireland.

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The council are expected to write to Josepha Madigan, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, in regards to the proposal, and it is hoped that the remains of Mr Joyce and Ms Barnacle will be returned to Dublin in time for the 100-year anniversary of James Joyce's most famous piece of literature Ulysses, which was published on the 2nd of February 1922.

Mr Joyce is currently at rest in a graveyard in Zurich, where he had been living since fleeing Paris at the outbreak of World War II.

He had left Ireland in 1904 but remnants of his life in Dublin are highlighted for the world to see-- his house, as well as that of his wife's, is marked with a plaque, and a statue of the author can be found on North Earl Street in the city centre.