Leaning on the "parapet" that surrounds the roof of the tower, Stephen looks down on "the mailboat clearing the harbourmouth of Kingstown." Later, Haines looks over the bay, "empty save for the smokeplume of the mailboat vague on the bright skyline." The mailboats were oceangoing ships that carried the mail between Ireland and Wales twice every day. Later in the novel, we learn that Joseph Patrick Nannetti is taking the mailboat on June 16, to catch a train to London.

JH 2011

Mail steamer leaving Kingstown Harbour, ca. 1900, in a photograph held in the National Archives of Ireland. Source:

Mail steamer in regalia in the Harbour. Source: John F. Finerty, Ireland in Pictures (1898).