I wrote a piece for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s FAQ magazine this quarter about whether or not there was an impact being felt amongst traditional publishers in Ireland from the presence of large tech companies who have made Dublin and Ireland a base of operations in Europe:
The web forms a core part of their businesses in a way that is not yet true of traditional publishers. While they are growing their e-book segments, the latter still do most of their business in paper and print. This crucial difference might be the reason why traditional publishing has not felt much direct impact from the tech firms. Most traditional publishers have little interaction with them and, while the newer and smaller innovative publishers might use their platforms, services and tools, there is not much they can give the tech giants and not much the tech giants can give them.
‘I don’t see that the presence of the large new media and tech companies has had any particular impact on the domestic publishing industry,’ says Ivan O’Brien from The O’Brien Press. ‘They don’t really interact with us, and they inhabit a multi-national space, generally dealing with companies with a whole lot more money than we have!’
I’m quoted (wearing my IPN hat) in the Irish Times today about the Waterstone’s closures in Dublin. Real shame those stores are closing:
Eoin Purcell editor of Irish Publishing News says the Dublin closures are particularly unfortunate given the city’s new title of Unesco City of Literature. “I think there is great sense among readers, writers and publishers that we are losing something. It is a real shame. People will miss it. The Dawson Street branch is a fantastic store with enormous range. Some books there you wouldn’t find in most stores. It has an amazing military history section, for example. You can find these books online but going to the shelf and browsing and looking through books – there’s nothing like it.”
Fantastic post today from Irish History Podcast on a little known explosion that ripped apart a large portion of Dublin city in the 16th Century:
It didn’t take a genius to figure out what caused the explosion itself. That week a shipment of gunpowder had arrived in the city and was being off loaded onto the quays. The gunpowder was for the English army waging the Nine years war (1594-1603) against the O Neills amongst others. Normally this powder would be transported the short distance from the quays up to the castle (see map below). However that week conflict arose between the porters in the city and castle officials and a large supply of gun powder built up on the quays. At lunchtime on Friday it exploded with devastating consequences demolishing twenty houses around the Woodquay area of the city.
Very interesting article on the connection between Ireland and the Choctaw Indians, by way of the famine:
White Deer has just spent two days traipsing around the city with a filmmaker from Dublin, working on a documentary about the Choctaw-Irish connection. Among other places, they have visited the Irish hunger memorial garden in lower Manhattan, a quarter-acre grassy hill with the remnants of a famine-era stone cottage imported from Mayo. Etched into the stone base is a reference to the generous donation by “the Children of the Forest, our Red Brethern of the Choctaw nation.”