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Our Story

The story of Charlie Byrne’s starts in 1989, when Charlie began to sell quality secondhand books from a market stall in Galway’s Munster Avenue. By October 1989, he had leased a small shop on Dominick Street, and the bookshop had found its first home.

After three successful years in Dominick Street, Charlie decided to expand, and moved the bookshop to a larger, more central location in Middle Street. John O’Donohue, internationally-known spiritual writer, officiated the opening of the new shop.

There, with the help of manager Vinny Browne and a number of devoted staff members, he created a bookshop with a unique recipe: a combination of secondhand titles, with carefully-selected bargain books.

By 1996, the bookshop was nearly overflowing, so it relocated again: this time, it moved just across the road to Middle Street’s Cornstore Mall – a lovely space featuring labyrinthine corners, lots of browser-friendly nooks and crannies, and plenty of room for thousands of books.

Since 1996, Charlie Byrne’s has continued to expand, and today, the bookshop occupies a large part of the Cornstore, meandering across multiple floors and creating a warm, sprawling heaven for book lovers!

Cultural Centre

Charlie Byrne’s has been a cultural centre in Galway for over two decades, and celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2018. As an integral part of Galway’s artistic landscape, we regularly host book launches, readings, and other cultural events.

We are also well known for the annual pop-up bookshop we host at the Town Hall Theatre in conjunction with in the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, which is held in Galway each April!