Signatories including Robert Dunbar and John Boyne sign protest letter to Irsih Times
This newspaper recently published a profile of Michael O’Brien whose O’Brien Press celebrated 40 years of publishing this year. “Down the years, the company has broken new ground for the domestic trade in the fields of culture, conservation and environment, true crime and, most strikingly, children’s literature,” Mick Heaney commented in his profile.
How disappointing then to learn that the Arts Council has chosen to reward this 40 years of achievement by handing the press an 84 per cent reduction in its grant – from €63,000 in 2014 to a mere €10,000 in 2015.
It achieved this drastic cut by moving the publisher from regular funding to the Title-by-Title Scheme, a scheme designed to support the costs of individual titles by publishers not in receipt of any other funding.
Of the 14 titles submitted by O’Brien Press, a mere two were funded. The clear signal from the council is that Ireland’s leading publisher of children’s books, and one of Ireland’s leading publishers of adult books is undeserving of serious support.