The Mother of all the Kennys
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.
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 >>>
Hearty congratulations to our own Conor Kenny, Managing Director of Kennys Bookshops & Art Galleries Ltd., who this morning (May 20, 2017) received an Honourary Doctorate from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, USA.
The plaque is adorned with a wonderfully fitting illustration by John Behan RHA - etched into the granite surface of the plaque.The unveiling was broadcast live on Facebook, and can be seen there and below...
Lots of laughter at the unveiling of Little John Nee's Haiku on Galway Prom, the latest plaque on the Galway Poetry Trail - Sunday 23rd April 2017.
There to launch the plaque were Sunny Jacobs and Peter Pringle, both of whom wrote celebratory haiku for the occasion (see the extended YouTube video below).
John Nee is an Irish storyteller, actor, musician and playwright who is more commonly known by his stage name Little John Nee. John is also famous for playing the part of Postie in TG4's silent comedy Fear an Phoist.