An Introduction to Clódhanna Teoranta and An Siopa Leabhar
Clódhanna Teoranta (also Clódhanna Ltd. and An Cló-Chumann) was set up in 1908 by Conradh na Gaeilge to “deal with the growing number of circulars, pamphlets, and books of all kinds” produced by the Gaelic League.
It continued in this role for the better part of fifteen years though largely having ceased publishing by the early 1920s. This saw the beginning of a quiet period in Clódhanna Teoranta’s publishing output (all the while, An Gúm was founded in 1926 as a central, state-affiliated and prolific publisher of works in Irish). In 1948, the literary magazine Feasta (www.feasta.ie) was founded as a unit of Clódhanna Teoranta to provide a platform for discussion of all sorts of topics in the Irish language.
While based at 24 O’Connell Street, Conradh na Gaeilge had a bookshop (see image) for "cross-counter sales" of its own publications. There had also been a shop at Conradh na Gaeilge’s headquarters in Number 6 Harcourt Street since it moved into the building in 1966.
An Siopa Leabhar (then An Siopa Ceilteach) was officially opened on 31 July 1975. This was during Pádraig Ó Snodaigh's reign as President of Conradh na Gaeilge and while Clódhanna Teoranta was experiencing a significant period in production of published works – thanks in no small part to Donnchadh Ó Súilleabháin. A specific outlet for publications in Irish was badly needed by this time, as it was quite difficult to access Irish-language publications in other bookshops. An Siopa Leabhar was set up to give access to Irish-language literature, publications in Irish, and a range of titles about other Celtic languages as they became available.
Since its inception, An Siopa Leabhar has become a central element of the Irish-language literary scene and a reliable source of Irish-language materials for readers and learners of the language, as well as schools and libraries, book clubs, conversation groups, youth groups, and much more.
'An Siopa Leabhar' is still part of Clódhanna Teoranta – and 'Clódhanna' might appear on your bank statement if you've paid by card in the shop. While it is linked to Conradh na Gaeilge and indeed is based in the Conradh’s headquarters, An Siopa Leabhar is itself a limited company and does not have charity status.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do you take card payments?
We do indeed take card payments, in store and over the phone.
Do you accept National Book Tokens?
Yes! We can accept these in the shop and over the phone.
Do you accept One4All gift cards?
We do indeed, though this is in-store only. Please note that you must know the balance on your One4All card before presenting it at the checkout.
Can I visit the shop if I don’t speak Irish?
Absolutely! We have a zero-judgement policy and you are more than welcome to visit no matter what level you are at. Everyone has to start somewhere!
How do I find out about events in the shop?
We regularly post on social media, as well as hanging posters in advance of events where possible. Event information is posted on the homepage of this website.
Do you offer Irish-language classes?
An Siopa Leabhar doesn’t, but Conradh na Gaeilge does run classes in the same building. See www.cnag.ie/courses for more information.
Will you stock my book?
An Siopa Leabhar has a number of regular distributors and ideally all purchases would be made through these distributors. Decisions to accept self-published works are made on a case by case basis. If you have published a book and wish for us to purchase copies for the shop, please contact us using the contact form on this site.
If you are self-publishing, please note that it is standard practice for bookshops to request from the supplier a discount on the retail price of any item purchased.
Can I launch my book in An Siopa Leabhar?
An Siopa Leabhar regularly has book launches and other literary events in the shop space. If you would like to launch a book in our shop, you are more than welcome to reach out. It is standard practice for An Siopa Leabhar to manage sales of the book at any given launch. By approaching us with a request to host your book launch, you are accepting this.
Events in An Siopa Leabhar will be scheduled on a case by case basis and out-of-hours events are subject to availability of staff.
Can you publish x, y, z?
An Siopa Leabhar is not a publisher, and has no say in what is published in Irish. If you believe there is a gap in the market or a book that should be brought back into print, we suggest you reach out to the publishers.
Does An Siopa Leabhar deal in secondhand books?
As of early 2020 we have started dealing in secondhand books, a selection of which we list online in the secondhand section of the website. Please contact us if you would like to discuss secondhand materials with An Siopa Leabhar.
We have a particular interest in books in Irish (as Gaeilge) though we will consider books in any of the Celtic languages (and others if there is an Irish interest). Books in English should be about Irish, or with an Ireland-specific interest.