Limerick literary institution marks 120 years

Peter O'Mahony, Claire O'Mahony and Frank O'Mahony marking the 120th anniversary of O'Mahony's Booksellers.

OPERATING from 120 O’Connell Street in Limerick, O’Mahony’s Booksellers is currently celebrating 120 years in business

Founded in 1902 by JP O’Mahony, grandfather of the current owner Frank, O’Mahony’s Booksellers is one of the largest and oldest indigenous bookstores in the country.

The family business has seen the original store of 450 square feet extend to 16,000 square feet over three floors and expand its reach with branches in University of Limerick, University of Galway, Tralee and Ennis as well as an online store.

O’Mahony’s has a very broad customer base across Ireland with a wide diversity of books, from children’s titles to serious non-fiction and specialist genres.

As part of its celebrations, O’Mahony’s are inviting primary school children to design a birthday card for the store. Packs are being sent to Limerick primary schools this week and children have until December 31 to submit their creations.

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The pupil who designs the winning card and their teacher will each receive a €120 gift card. Runner up prizes of €10 gift cards will be awarded to 50 students.

Running an independent bookshop is no small feat given the challenges of running a business and competing against online giants like Amazon, as Frank O’Mahony acknowledges.

“Despite digitisation, Irish people still love books – browsing, choosing, buying, gifting and reading them,” he says.

“The retail experience is very important and is a constant focus for us. We are more than just a bookstore and our online store is performing really well and allows us cater fora customer base all over Ireland.”

“Our ongoing success can also be attributed to our unrivalled customer range and our wonderful staff. We are proud to stock the largest selection of serious non-fiction and specialist books outside of Dublin which is backed-up by the wealth of knowledge of our staff.

“I would like to thank them and our loyal customers for their support throughout the years. We look forward to being around for the next few hundred years,” he continued.

Over the years the family business has welcomed many esteemed authors for book launches, signings and author visits. The photo gallery on the stores website is like a who’s who of the literary and celebrity world and can be viewed here