05 Jul 2022

Kilcullen siblings overwhelmed with reaction to new bookshop in Kildare town

Kilcullen brother and sister overwhelmed with reaction to new bookshop in Kildare town

Martin Kelly and Ber Burke open new bookshop on Claregate Street in Kildare town

Brother and sister team, Ber Burke and Martin Kelly are delighted to have taken the first step in realising a shared dream — to manage and curate a bookshop.

Seanchai, which means storyteller, opened its doors on Claregate Street in Kildare town on Thursday, April 14.

“We are overwhelmed with the response. It's been absolutely fantastic. It's just been a pleasure to see people coming in and enjoying it,” said Ber.

"We are cognisant of our location and, having been born and raised a short distance away in Kilcullen, we are well aware of Kildare’s colourful heritage.

“As well as keeping up to date with latest releases and prize winners, we will also do our best to facilitate local interest, from horse racing to St Bridget, and we will endeavour to learn from, and satisfy, our prospective customer’s needs.”

She stressed that they will also be showcasing local authors and linking in with the local library to celebrate cultural events.

“We do not look at this as ‘our’ bookshop,” Ber continued, “rather we see it it as the town of Kildare’s bookshop. Our mission is to create a warm and welcoming space where one might slip away from the daily stresses and perhaps, for a small while, set one’s imagination free.”

She said the people of Kildare have been so welcoming and if the first week is anything to go by, interest will hopefully remain strong.

The store opening was delayed due to a technical issue.
“We had all the books on the shelves and we were ready to go so but we couldn't open so there was great anticipation.”

Ber is a retired nurse and has lived in Ballyshannon with her family for many years. She has a great love of books. With a background in computer science, Martin is well equipped to deal with the technical side of the business.

“Dawn in Woodbine Bookshop in Kilcullen has been just brilliant, helping me link up with publishers and getting everything set up. There is a great vibe,” said Ber.

Check out Seanchaí Books on Facebook.

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