About Charlie Byrne’s

Charlie Byrne's St.Patrick's Day Window on our Middle Street Galway City Centre Bookshop

Front Window of Charlie Byrne’s

Fáilte go dtí  Siopa Leabhar Charlie Byrne! Welcome to Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop!  Located in the heart of Galway City, we stock over 100,000 new, bargain and secondhand books on subjects ranging from literary fiction to Irish interest to art and archaeology.

Táimid lonnaithe i gcroílár chathair na Gaillimhe agus tá breis agus 100,000 leabhar sa siopa againn; Leabhair nua, leabhair ar mhargadh maith, leabhair dara láimhe ag clúdach gach ábhar ó fhicsean go dtí spéis i gcúrsaí  Éireannacha, ó ealaíon go hailtireacht. Ó 1996, tá siopa leabhar Charlie Byrne ag fás agus ag forbairt.  Inniu tá roinnt mhaith spáis mór tógtha suas ag Charlie Byrne’s sa Stór Arbhair agus é leathnaithe amach thar chúpla urlár agus ag cruthú tearmainn te, teolaí do leabharbháigh.

Brimming with books on every imaginable subject, Charlie Byrne’s is Ireland’s best-loved independent bookshop, and our Middle Street store is a browser’s paradise, spread over three thousand square feet.We sell a unique combination of high-quality used books, carefully selected bargain books at less than half the publisher’s retail price, and a selection of new books – including popular new titles, books of local interest, titles by local authors, and books specially recommended by staff members. We are well-known for our personalised customer service and our dedicated, knowledgeable staff of book lovers, who are always happy to help you find the book you’re looking for, or to special-order a title whenever possible.

Gerry Hanberrry playing guitar in Charlie Byrne's Bookshop before the launch of a fetschrift for Adrian Frazier

Gerry Hanberry plays a few tunes before a book launch

Charlie Byrne’s has been a cultural centre in Galway for over two decades, and will celebrate its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2014. As an integral part of Galway’s artistic landscape, we regularly host book launches, readings, and other cultural events. Over the years, Charlie Byrne’s has hosted some of Ireland’s best-known writers and musicians as well as international literary legends, including Irish novelist Pat McCabe; literary critic Terry Eagleton; President Michael D. Higgins (also a poet and academic); the political activists The Rossport Five; novelist and lead singer of Toasted Heretic, Julian Gough; American poet, essayist, and National Book Award winner Thomas Lynch; and Irish spiritual writer, poet and philosopher John O’ Donohue. We were also pleased to host the launch of the DVD “The Pipe;” a celebration of the music of Rory Gallagher; and a night of music by Toasted Heretic.

Manager Vinny Browne at the front counter of Charlie Byrne's Bookshop, Middle Street

Manager Vinny Browne

Charlie Byrne’s is also well known for the annual pop-up bookshop it hosts at the Town Hall Theatre in conjunction with in the Cúirt International Festival of Literature (http://www.cuirt.ie), which is held in Galway each April. Writers such as Seamus Heaney, Edna O’Brien, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Enright, Gerbrand Bakker, Sharon Olds, and dozens of others have spent hours signing books at an antique desk in our Cúirt bookshop.

The story of Charlie Byrne’s began in 1989, when Charlie began to sell quality secondhand books from a market stall in Galway’s Munster Avenue. By October 1989, he had leased a small shop on Dominick Street, and Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop had found its first home. After three successful years in Dominick Street, Charlie decided to expand, and moved the bookshop to a larger, more central location in Middle Street (where the internationally-known spiritual writer John O’Donohue, who was a regular customer, officiated at the opening of the new shop). There, with the help of manager Vinny Browne and a number of devoted staff members, he created a bookshop with a unique recipe: a combination of secondhand titles with carefully-selected bargain books. By 1996, the bookshop was nearly overflowing, so it relocated again: this time, it moved just across the road to Middle Street’s Cornstore Mall – a lovely space featuring labyrinthine corners, lots of browser-friendly nooks and crannies, and plenty of room for thousands of books.

Since 1996, Charlie Byrne’s has continued to expand, and today, the bookshop occupies a large part of the Cornstore, meandering across multiple floors and creating a warm, sprawling haven for book lovers.

Charlie Byrne’s was delighted to be named the Best Bookshop in Ireland 2013/2014, in the Irish Times Best Shops in Ireland Competition.

Bhí an-áthas ar Charlie Byrne’s gur ainmníodh iad mar an siopa leabhar is fearr in Éirinn 2013/2014 i gcomórtas an Irish Times don Siopa is fearr in Éirinn! Go raibh maith agat as ucht cuairt a thabhairt ar ár suíomh idirlín!