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Booktalk Blog

Kennys Celebrating 80 Years in Business in 2020!

We, Kennys Bookshop & Art Gallery are delighted to be celebrating 80 years in business this year! The bookshop was opened in Galway, Ireland in 1940 by Des & Maureen Kenny and has grown and expanded ever since.

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Tom Kenny remembers Gay Byrne


It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Gay Byrne today. Our first meeting with Gay Byrne was in November 1973 when he opened an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Seán Keating in our Salthill Gallery.

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Kennys Bookmark Competition - The Winners!

Recently, here at Kennys Bookshop we invited children everywhere to participate in our Children's Bookmark Competition, by asking them to submit a design of what they would like to see printed on our next Kennys bookmark!
We were delighted to receive hundreds of wonderful entries from children all over Ireland and abroad, as young as age 3 and up to age 12 and now, to announce the winners!

Staff Recommendations: what we are currently reading!


All of the staff in Kennys are big readers and we are always happy to share our book recommendations! 

Here's what we have been reading recently....

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Kennys.ie Children's Bookmark Competition!

We are inviting all children aged 12 and under to design our next Kennys.ie Bookmark!

The winning design will be printed on our next bookmark & the entrant will also win a hamper of children's books worth €150! We are looking for either vertical or horizontal designs by children, of whatever they would like to see on one our next bookmarks, inspired by books & reading!

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Supporting Ireland's Great Hunger Museum

Please support Ireland's Great Hunger Museum - Tacaigh le Músaem an Ghorta Mhóir le do thoil

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut USA, contains the world’s largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to The Great Irish Famine. Portraying its impact and significance through art, the museum’s mission is to educate audiences of all ages about the causes and consequences of Ireland’s Great Hunger, and how it continues to relate to contemporary issues.

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Remembering Maureen Kenny on what would have been her 100th Birthday

The Mother of all the Kennys

Maureen Kenny The 28th of April 2018 would have been the 100th birthday of Maureen Kenny. Maureen Kenny founded Kennys Bookshop in 1940 with her husband Des and worked in the bookshop all her life. It was her way of life. Seámus Heaney once called her, 'The Madonna of the Manuscripts'. Des Kenny remembers her here, in ómós.  

A Formidable Woman

There is a memory of a familiar figure hunched over a small table at a sitting room window. Carefully, slowly, she is writing in a beautiful script on cards using a pen and nib with black ink, each card bearing the same message: “Suggestion for a Rainy Day”. The suggestion is that should the day be wet, the reader, who presumably is on holiday, might do worse than visit Kennys Bookshop in High St in Galway.

Nearly all the owners agreed to do this, only delighted to get rid of grumpy customers bewailing the lack of sun in Sunny Salthill for an hour or two and who might return to their lodgings in good form. Many of them did.

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Kennys inspires Galway International Arts Festival

We eagerly anticipate this year's Galway International Arts Festival.  A little-known fact released this week was that GIAF became the first Arts Festival in Ireland to have its own website, inspired by Kennys Bookshop!

We can't claim to have been the first bookshop in the world to have had a website; as a matter of fact, we were the second, pipped by a shop in Seattle. However, we are certainly the longest-still-operating bookshop with a website in the world, as the bookshop in the US has unfortunately long since closed! Thanks for the thought GIAF, and good luck with this year's programme! Galway to the world, and the world to Galway... Thanks @GalwayIntArts for #inspiring #CreativeCollision in #Galway Galway Arts Festival website >>>

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