Galway iconic bookshop closes because of coronavirus

By Maeve Lee

Charlie Byrne’s bookshop has announced its temporary closure, but customers can still access the shops 100,000 books.

Taking to Twitter, the bookshop which has been opened since 1989, announced their decision to close doors to the public.

Manager Vinny Browne said that it was not possible for the shop doors to remain open with the current coronavirus pandemic and that it would have been “irresponsible” to do so.

“We can’t really secure the building. From a hygiene point of view, it is impossible to clean the place sufficient to allow people to come and go, it’s just not possible for us to do that”, he said.

The bookshop, which won the Best Independent Bookshop award last year, has become a cultural reference point in Galway city and despite its closure, Mr Browne and staff will continue to operate behind closed doors. 

Customers can order a book to be delivered to their home, or arrangements can be made to collect books from the shop.

“There will be somebody here during the day until further notice so we will be here… but we’re just not opened”, said Mr Browne.

When asked if the staff are hoping that they will reopen soon, Mr Browne explained: “It is unknowable what is going to happen next. You can’t hope anything, you just have to see how the situation develops from day to day, changing at an extraordinarily rapid rate. So, it is very difficult to have any certainty about anything.”

“It is [sad] but I think it’s the only decision that we could take. I really don’t think there’s any alternative,” he said.

To avail of the postal or collection services, customers can get in touch on 091 561755 or infor@charliebyrne.ie.

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