Sports News Ireland, November 26, 2010.
One of Ireland's finest writers, Eamonn Sweeney, is but one of 70 authors celebrating ,this weekend, the 70th Birthday of Kenny's , for it was onNovember 29th 1940, that Des and Maureen Kenny opened the doors of their Bookshop in High Street Galway for the first time.
The year's celebrations will culminate in a major Author's Day on Saturday (27th of November) beginning at 12 noon and continuing until 5pm. Present will be 70 of Ireland's favourite writers who will be signing their work throughout the day .Five of their six children and three of their grandchildren now work in the family business. In total, the company employs nearly twenty people.
Kennys Bookshop was the second bookshop in the world to have its own website. No Amazon was NOT the first! Nor Foyle's of London . Only a sci-fi shop in San Francisco beat them to it and they closed many years ago. As pioneers of bookselling online, Kennys have continually redeveloped their site over the years to keep up-to-date on the changing trends and needs of customers.
Kennys has a renowned stock of books on Irish history, culture, literature and language, as well as a comprehensive selection of non-Irish material that covers all aspects of the human experience. The new website, launched in the Summer of 2010, stocks over 5,000,000 pre-release, new, second-hand, out of print and rare books. Taking a quick look through their catalogues I found it almost impossible to find a book I had heard about or read that was not in stock. Amazon eat your heart out!
As an avid sports fan, a quick look at the list of authors present at Saturday's celebration included one of my own favourite authors, broadcaster and journalist….. Eamonn Sweeney.
Eamonn Sweeney was born in Gurteen,a village of a couple of hundred people in the South of Sligo in 1968 and now lives in Cork. He is the author of the novels Waiting for the Healer (1998, Picador) and The Photograph (2001, Picador), as well as the non-fiction sports books, There's Only One Red Army (1997, New Island Books), Munster Hurling Legends (2003, O'Brien Press), The Road to Croker (2004, Hodder ) and O'Brien Pocket History of Gaelic Sport (2005, O'Brien). In addition, his short stories have appeared in various publications and anthologies, and he won the European Short Story Award in 1995. In drama, he has written the radio play You Got the Love and the stage play Bruen's Twist (2002, Corcadorca – Everyman's Theatre, Cork.).
His latest offering is "Down, Down, Deeper and Down",published by Gill & McMillan (320 pages in Hardback). The years 1973 to 1985 in Ireland were turbulent, dramatic and unpredictable. It was a different and wild time. Sometimes it wasn't too different from today. An unprecedented boom led to an economic meltdown, unemployment soared into double figures and the government bailed out the bankers while everyone else suffered.The only difference is that we did not need an IMF or E.C bailout then.
“ Down, Down, Deeper and Down” is the story of a time when statues moved and the Rats rocked. It is the story of a time not so long ago which is sometimes portrayed as being part of ancient history.
It is the story of the years that made us what we are today. It makes riveting reading.
Sweeney of course is also well known for his weekly column in the Sunday Independent, where he covers most sports – his views for example , on why Andy Reid should be in the Irish soccer team and not Paul Green drew a huge response not only from Indo readers but also on various soccer websites with readers equally divided. Sweeney is always worth a read whether one agrees with him or not. So pop along to Kenny's onSaturday if you are in or near Galway and meet some of your favourite authors, Eamonn Sweeney included.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the Sports News Ireland