Move back one step  Move forward one step  List of themes 

Academic publishers
Publishers of educational books

    Publishing in Irish

Producing books in Irish is a small sector of Irish publishing and one which is difficult to do as a commercial enterprise. All the publishers receive grants from the Irish Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon (and sometimes from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland) to subsidise their publications for a very small market. Some may also receive financial aid from Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge (the Irish books board, now part of Foras na Gaeilge). Nonetheless, a few publishers (see table below) have managed to maintain their position and continue to produce a regular amount of books in the Irish language.

Given the size of the market, it is not perhaps surprising that some of the Irish-language publishers no longer exist or have been reorganised to ensure economic survival, e.g. Sáirséal agus Dill – a publisher of Irish fiction such as Dúil by Liam Ó Flaithearta which is now Sáirséal Ó Marcaigh after having been taken over. Others have changed their policies through being taken over by another publisher with a different orientation, e.g. Wolfhound Press which into the 1990s published works of literature in English but also the bilingual text An Crann Faoi Bláth / The Flowering Tree, Contemporary Irish Poetry with Verse Translations (ed. Declan Kiberd and Gabriel Fitzmaurice, 1995 [1991]).

The English-language publishers may also have a limited amount of material in Irish. This is true of the Mercier Press in Cork, for example, which publishes some popular Irish-language books such as An Béal Bocht by Myles na gCopaleen (pseudonym of Brian O’Nolan).

More information on book publishing in Ireland can be gained from the Irish Book Publisher’s Association / Cumann Leabharfhoilsitheoirí Éireann. See also the list of publishers on the relevant section of the website of Foras na Gaeilge.

An Gúm
‘The scheme’

Founded in 1926, this was formerly part of the Department of Education and is now part of Foras na Gaeilge, the cross-border institution for the Irish language. For many decades it was the main Irish-language publisher in Ireland and was also concerned with translation work from English to Irish and with translations from other (European) languages. An Gúm also publishes teaching material such as a dictionary as do educational publishers in Ireland. It does not have a dedicated website but there is information on the following page of Foras na Gaeilge. A comprehensive index of all publications of An Gúm is available in book form from the publishers.
Cló Iar-Chonnachta
‘West Connemara Publishing’
A publisher of fictional and non-fictional literature – along with some academic works – located in the Connemara Gaeltacht (Indreabhán, Co. Galway). Cló Iar-Chonnachta also publishes traditional Irish music (as tapes and CDs/DVDs). The books published by An Chlóchomhar (‘publishing partnership’) are now available from Cló Iar-Chonnachta at the following point within their website: An Chlóchomhar at Cló Iar-Chonnachta. The same is true of Sáirséal Ó Marcaigh which has also been taken over by Cló Iar-Chonnachta.
Indreabhán is also home to the Irish-language publisher Leabhar Breac / The Speckled Book.

Located in Dublin, Coiscéim publishes a wide range of fictional and non-fictional literature in Irish which serves a broad market. Many of its authors are well-established Irish fictional writers.
Cois Life
‘By the Liffey’
Founded in 1995, this publisher has about 50 titles covering literature and academic research presented to a general public.
Cló Mhaigh Eo
‘Mayo Publishers’
This publisher specialises in literature in Irish for children and young people.

Futa Fata
Both books and CDs are produced by this publisher from An Spidéal/Spiddle, Co. Galway. The name Futa Fata means something like ‘excited, confused talk’.

‘Little Turf’
This is a publisher of fiction for teenagers and adults in both Irish and English.

Academic publishers

Irish universities sometimes publish works in Irish. This is especially true of the Maynooth University (National University of Ireland Maynooth) where many Irish-language publications have appeared under the imprint An Sagart (founded by Cumann na Sagart ‘The Society of Priests’, the long-time director was Pádraig Ó Fiannachta, former professor Irish at Maynooth).

The School of Celtic Studies at the The Dublin Institute of Advanced Studies also has a publishing programme for academic publications on Celtic matters, some of which are in the Irish language, see the section Books and Publications in Celtic Studies.

The Royal Irish Academy / Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, located in the centre of Dublin, is the academy for the humanties and sciences in Ireland and has supported the Irish language with a number of publications. Section C of the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy is dedicated to ‘Archaeology, history, Celtic studies, linguistics and literature’. In addition the academy publishes the Irish-language Ériu founded in 1904 as the journal of the School of Irish Learning which was later incorporated (1926) into the Royal Irish Academy.

Irish Texts Society The website of this society gives the following as its aims: ‘The Irish Texts Society was founded in 1898 to promote the study of Irish literature. The Society publishes annotated texts in Irish with English translations and related commentaries’. Individuals can become members of the society which also has a close association with the Royal Irish Academy (see previous paragraph).

A further publisher of very many academic works concerning Irish is An Clóchomhar, lit. ‘The publishing partnership’ (no website available). It has produced a large number of books of both general and academic interest, frequently placing Irish concerns in a broader perspective, e.g. Muiris Ó Laoire Athbheochan Na hEabhraise. Ceacht Don Ghaeilge [The revival of Hebrew. A lesson for Irish]. An Clóchomhar, 1999.

There are two independent academic Irish publishers, both located in Dublin. These are the Irish Academic Press and the Four Courts Press. The latter has produced a few books on matters of language in Ireland, though not in the Irish language.

The former Institiúid Teangeolaíochta Éireann / Linguistics Institute of Ireland used publish academic books on linguistic matters surrounding the Irish language in contemporary Ireland. Since the institute no longer exists these publications have ceased.

Publishers of educational books

There three major Irish publishers of material for Irish schools – (1) Gill & Macmillan, (2) Folens and (3) The Educational Company of Ireland – which also have some material in Irish, especially for the Irish school programmes and examinations, click on the images below to go to their websites.


Note. My thanks go to Dr. Brian Ó Catháin, Roinn na Nua-Ghaeilge, Scoil na Léinn Cheiltigh, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Má Nuad for several useful suggestions with regard to the information in this module.