"Donnybrook," a southeastern district of Dublin, was a sedate suburb in Joyce's time, but it had become a byword for violent brawls from the annual fairs that were held there in earlier centuries, when it was an isolated village.

John Hunt 2018

Scene on Donnybrook Road in 1927, in a photograph held in the National Library of Ireland. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Drawing of a "Fair Fight" by Samuel Lover, reproduced in Weston St. John Joyce's The Neighbourhood of Dublin, 2nd ed. (M. H. Gill & Son, 1921). Source:

Drawing of the Donnybrook Fair printed in an 1835 issue of the Dublin Penny Journal, by an unknown artist. (Shillelaghs are only slightly less conspicuous in this image.) Source: Wikimedia Commons.

"Donnybrook Fair," 1859 oil painting by Erkine Nichol. Source: comeheretome.

"Donnybrook Fair, 1782," watercolor by Francis Wheatley, held in the Yale Center for British Art. Source: Wikimedia Commons.