‘A huge loss’: Chapters Bookstore to close after almost 40 years in business

Dublin city centre shop sold extensive range of new and second-hand books

Chapters Bookstore in Dublin city centre is to close its doors early next year after almost 40 years in business.

Established in 1983, Ireland's largest independent bookstore has operated from various locations around the city over the years including Wicklow Street, St Stephen's Green and Abbey Street. It moved to Parnell Street in 2006.

Housed on two floors, Chapters sells an extensive range of new and second-hand books, as well as bargain-priced titles, jigsaws and stationery.

Chapters said in a Twitter post that it would close in “early 2022”.

News of the planned closure of the bookstore was widely lamented on social media on Friday, with Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon saying it would be “a huge loss to Dublin city”.

“Just on basic human level, an entire floor dedicated to cheap 2nd hand books was just a really lovely place to lose yourself for a while in the city,” the Dublin Central deputy said.

William Kinsella, who owns the shop along with some family members, offered his thanks to customers who had supported the business over the years. A request for an interview with Mr Kinsella met with no response.

The latest accounts for Ivy Books Ltd, which owns Chapters, show a profit of €234,038 in the year to the end of February 2020. The company had an average of 41 employees during that year.

The development in which the bookshop is located, the Ivy Exchange, is currently the subject of High Court disputes between the developers, who are members of the Cosgrave building family, and a management company over alleged defects in the buildings.

According to Labour Party Senator Maire Sherlock, who has taken an interest in the matter, the management fees for the owner-occupiers in the development have had to be significantly increased recently in order to try to deal with the defects.

A company linked to the Cosgraves owns the unit let to Chapters, and the management fees forit, which are charged to the Cosgrave company, have increased by multiples in the past year, she said. The smaller, owner-occupied properties have also been hit with increases proportionate to their size.

IEGP Management Company currently has a case before the High Court over the alleged non-payment of increased fees it claims are due from JOM Investments Unlimited Company, a company linked to the Cosgraves.

In 2018, the management company brought separate proceedings against a number of parties including brothers Joseph, Michael and the late Peter Cosgrave, over the alleged defects in the property. The claims in both sets of proceedings are being denied.

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