"Ringsend" is the part of town just east of Dublin on the south bank of the Liffey. It is separated from the city by the mouth of the River Dodder, which once was a broad estuary. By Joyce's time the river had been confined by a walled channel, but Ringsend retained the quality of a separate town on the seacoast. Walking southeast of it on the tide flats in Proteus, Stephen observes some of its present maritime features, and apparently also imagines some others in the distant past.

John Hunt 2016

Detail from a map of Dublin in the 10th edition of The Encyclopaedia Britannica, ca. 1902, showing Irishtown and Ringsend north of Sandymount. Source: www.illustrationsource.com.

Closer view of Ringsend and Irishtown, from a Bartholomew map printed 5 September 1900. Source: David Pierce, James Joyce's Ireland.