Our apologies. For whatever reason, our previous message was totally unreadable. We are attempting to re-send it and fingers are crossed it will come through okay.
Dear Friends of Ireland,
In the newsletter we sent out on Friday, we mentioned that an Irish American business will be no more. We can now reveal that after 40 years, Irish Books & Media will be closing its doors at the end of February, 2007.
We have a very special relationship with the owner Ethna McKiernan that goes back to 1999 when Bridget's wedding book was published by Wolfhound Press in Dublin. Ethna had the vision to see, as she put it, the book "had legs" ie., there would be a steady market for it . Thus, she became the sole distributor in the USA. Since then, Wolfhound was bought out by another Irish publisher who eventually also went away. For many authors, this might have meant their work going out of print. To make a long story, short, Ethna stepped in and became Bridget's publisher as well as her distributor. She has often told us that the book was one of her best-sellers.
So, it's with a very heavy heart that we will now have to find another guardian angel. But that's a problem for us to solve later. Of immediate concern is doing whatever we can to help our friend. Here is some background information:
Some of you may know that Irish Books and Media was established by Ethna's father, Dr. Eoin McKiernan, as a small offshoot of the Irish American Cultural Institute, the organization he founded in the early 1960s. It came into being solely to educate the membership of the IACI about Ireland. At the time, nothing was being published on Ireland in the U.S., unless it was a work byYeats or Joyce.
How different it is today! With shows such as Riverdance and the advent of the Celtic Tiger more than a decade ago, interest in Ireland and Irish topics soared. But in the interim, Irish Books & media came under pressure from corporate giants swallowing up smaller publishers or raising order minimums to100 copies. The trend made already slim margins in wholesaling even smaller, forcing the firm to carry larger inventories than they could afford or to order at too low a discount for resale purposes. Add to that the declining dollar and an uphill battle against the tripling of freight costs and the stage was set for a fight which, despite enormous personal financial sacrifice, became a lost cause. Ethna had no choice but to stop the bleeding.
So, as part of the closure process, thousands of titles have been listed on line at 50% off. Here is an excellent opportunity to buy gifts for birthdays and next Christmas or simply to add to your Irish library. And you'll be helping Ethna to reduce or eliminate her inventory which is critically important if she is to emerge from all of this without going bankrupt. But don't delay - there may be only one or two copies available for many of the titles. To avoid disappointment, visit Irish Books & Media right away. The URL is:
Also, keep in mind when you shop, Irish books & Media offers music, videos, calendars and other products. Everything must go. It would also
In summary, we are very sad to be writing this letter. But, as the old saw goes, it's an ill wind that doesn't blow somebody good. May it be so for Ethna and her staff. We wish them all the very best in their future endeavors. And we thank you in advance for any tangible support you can give them by making a purchase as soon as you can. It would also be very helpful to Ethna if you put "Haggerty Subscribers" in the comment section so that she can track where the orders are coming from.
Slan agus beannacht
Bridget & Russ