Monday 23 October 2017

Martina Devlin: Novel way to remind our emigrants they are not forgotten back home

So far, the project is on course to
raise some 4,000 books. DVDs, CDs, newspaper and magazine subscriptions and sheet music have been contributed, too. Thinkstock Images
So far, the project is on course to raise some 4,000 books. DVDs, CDs, newspaper and magazine subscriptions and sheet music have been contributed, too. Thinkstock Images
Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin

IT'S a sight to gladden book-lovers, and silence rumours about the book being dead. Teetering towers of hardbacks and paperbacks colonise every available surface in a government office in Kildare Street, ready to be used as a bridge to a community of Irish emigrants.

Books on every subject under the sun – from music and sport to crime fiction and local history – are piled high. But they share common denominators – all have an Irish author or theme, all were donated, and all are destined for a new library in London.

I lift one at random: a novel by Carlo Gebler, Edna O'Brien's son, signed by him. Here's an autographed poetry collection by President Higgins. There's a stack of cookery books by Darina Allen. Their future home is the London-Irish Centre in Camden Town.

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