Launch of "Christmas and the Irish: a Miscellany"

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Posted 01st December

A large number of people gathered in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, to attend the launch of Christmas and the Irish: a Miscellany on 30 Nov, edited by Prof. Salvador Ryan, SPPU, and published by Wordwell Press.

The volume was launched by Wexford folklorist Michael Fortune, and the MC for the evening was Barbara McCormack, Librarian, Royal Irish Academy, and formerly of Maynooth University Special Collections.

In commenting on the diversity of contributions in the volume, Michael Fortune commented that one of the real values of the work was the diversity of the topics, that it spans “the academic, the ordinary, the everyday, and everything in between”. “There’s a lovely human connection to the book”, he remarked, and noted that the voices of the contributors come through very clearly.

Not only is there diversity in the book, he went on, but the essays “have been very well curated”, going on to compare it to the ubiquitous “mix tapes” of the 1980s.“This book has created community; it has brought people together”, he concluded, remarking that it would be important for generations to come.

The volume can be purchased directly from Wordwell Press and in all good bookshops:

Two further events to celebrate the launch of Christmas and the Irish will take place over the coming days in Castlebar and Celbridge. Please find further details below:

Castlebar, Saturday 2 December:

Celbridge, Monday 4 December:


Barbara McCormack, Librarian RIA, was MC for the evening


Salvador with his cousin JP Ryan, also a contributor


Michael Fortune, Wexford Folklorist, launches the book Christmas-and-the-Irish-launch-6.jpg#asset:14903Christmas-and-the-Irish-launch-7.jpg#asset:14904

Maura Connolly (fourth on the right), who worked for 30 years with Gay Byrne on RTÉ's The Late Late Show, joins Béibhinn Breathnach, RTÉ (second from the left), who contributed an article to the volume on the origins and early years of the Late Late Toy Show.

Also in the photo: Salvador Ryan (first on left) and Michael Fortune (third on left) who launched the volume.