Major Irish authors to take part in Kenny’s birthday celebrations

Jennifer Johnston, Eugene McCabe, Theo Dorgan, and Dermot Healy, will be among the 70 major Irish writers coming to Kenny’s to help the bookshop celebrate 70 years in business.

The celebrations take place in Kenny’s Bookshop and Art Galleries, Liosbán Retail Park, Tuam Road, this Saturday from 11.30am to 5pm and the public are invited to go along and take part, meet the authors, and get books signed.

Other writers confirmed to come are Gabriel Fitzmaurie, Eamonn Sweeny, Tom Kilroy, Robert Portsmouth, Eddie Lenihan, Gerald Dawe, Jenny McCudden, Eugene McCabe, Peter Cunningham, Noel King, Knute Skinner, Lorna Siggins, Christian O’Reilly, and Ireland’s first Laureate na nÓg Siobhán Parkinson.

Galway authors attending include Kevin Higgins, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Michael D Higgins, Gearoid Ó Tuathaigh, Susan Du Millars Mars, Dick Donaghue, Peadar O’Dowd, Celeste Augé, Fred Johnston, Geraldine Mills, Eva Bourke, Pete Mullineux, Gerard Hanberry, Dick Byrne

The event is to commemorate when Des and Maureen Kenny first opened the doors of Kenny’s Bookshop in High Street in Galway city on November 29 1940. In 1953, the couple opened The Kenny Gallery with an exhibition by Kenneth Webb.

The first book catalogue was printed in 1959, and this sowed the seeds of the export side of the business. In 1973, Kenny’s opened the Seán Desmond Gallery in New York and in 1974 Gerry Kenny opened the Book Bindery in Salthill.

Regular trips to the States during the 1980s saw Kenny’s appointed the Irish supplier to the Library of Congress which led to the family supplying more than 300 US libraries including Harvard and Yale universities.

In 1994 Kenny’s became the second bookshop in the world to go online with www.Kennys.ie and in 2000 it opened an office in Tokyo to take full advantage of the growing Asian market.

In 2006, Kenny’s moved the bookshop to the Liosbán Retail Park where the tradition of book signings, book launches, art exhibitions, and demonstrations, music recitals and charity events continues.

Today, five of Des and Maureen’s children – Tom, Des, Gerry, Monica, and Conor – run Kenny’s today, along with three grandchildren, and 12 staff. Kennys.ie stocks more than five million books and it has further reduced the price on thousands of books on offer and the bookshop has also launched a new gift wrapping service.

Kenny’s will gift wrap up to three books for €2.95 - cheaper than other major competitors - and include your personal message for the gift recipient. There is also free shipping worldwide on every title on Kennys.ie so you can have your gift wrapped books shipped directly to loved ones at home and abroad.

Writers who would like to attend the 70th birthday event are also welcome, provided they contact Kenny’s on 091 - 709350 or email karen@kennys.ie before Saturday.

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