Columba Press thanks supporters after entering liquidation

Irish publisher of books on a religious theme has failed to secure necessary investment

Columba Press  has thanked everyone who supported it over the years, after the company went into liquidation. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Columba Press has thanked everyone who supported it over the years, after the company went into liquidation. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Ireland’s best-known independent publisher of books on a religious theme, the Columba Book Service Ltd (Columba Press and Currach Press), has thanked everyone who supported it over the years, after the company went into liquidation.

Managing director Fergal O’Boyle said Columba went into examinership in May “to protect the jobs of our employees while we sought new investment.

“ Unfortunately, we have been unable to secure the new investment that would be needed to return the company to profitability and place us on a sound financial footing for the future.”

He wished fellow indigenous Irish publishers “every success as you fight the good fight to get our own local authors onto bookshelves in the face of fierce competition from large international companies”.

Company history

Founded as Columba Press in 1984 by Sean O’Boyle, with the mission to produce “thoughtful books for a thinking church”, its first three titles were published in 1985.

Its first titles were Masses with Young People by Fr Donal Neary SJ, Funeral Homilies, edited by Fr Liam Swords, and Disturbing the Peace by Fr Eamonn Bredin.

It published across a broad range of subjects, including pastoral resources, spirituality, theology, the arts and history.

At its height, it published 35 new titles a year, with about 350 books in print.

Its title The Glenstal Book of Prayer (2001) sold more than 150,000 copies worldwide and topped the bestsellers list in Ireland for 18 weeks.

Its Book of Common Prayer for the Church of Ireland has sold more than 120,000 copies.

Among Columba’s bestselling authors were theologian James P Mackey, Fr Daniel J O’Leary, Fr Mark Patrick Hederman, Fr Pat Collins, Fr Tony Flannery, Fr Seán Fagan and Fr Brian D’Arcy.