Mercier Press has released books on a wide range of subjects and the Cork company is looking to the future of publishing.
At his bookshop at 5 French Church Street in Cork, Captain John (Seán) M Feehan describes how his journey into the publishing world began with the study of philosophy. Founding Mercier Press in Cork in 1944 with only £90 in capital, he was confident that it would all work out,
Ní raibh morán bunairgead agam, bhí go leor misneach agam.
Since then this Cork publishing house has provided the reading public with an endless list of books on an array of themes, which John Feehan describes as,
Saghas scothán...gach aon saghas leabhair atá againn.
John Feehan shows some of the early Mercier Press publications including the first book 'The Music of Life' as well as 'Pictures in the Irish National Gallery', 'Counties of Contention', 'The Intellectual Life', 'Peace By Ordeal', 'Philosophy for Beginners', 'Problems in Medical Ethics', and 'Guerilla Days in Ireland'.
Mercier Press house then moved into publishing religious books including 'Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma', 'Introduction to the New Testament', 'The Regensburg New Testament', 'The Law of Christ', and 'The Kindness of God'.
The company also published a miscellaneous collection of books on an array of themes related to Ireland including 'Marriage Irish Style', 'Myths and Legends', 'The Life of Michael Collins', 'The Tailor and Ansty', 'My Story', 'The Great O'Neill', 'The Gun of Kenmare', 'The Civil War in Ireland', and 'Teilhard de Chardin'.
At this stage, Mercier Press was publishing at a rate of about a book every week and publications included 'Love Poems of the Irish' by Sean Lucy, 'Best of Connolly' by Proinsias Mac Aonghusa, 'Witchcraft in Ireland', 'The Mercier New Testament', 'Insurrection fires at Eastertide', the first of the Thomas Davis lectures 'The Years of the Great Test', 'The Best of Pearse', 'The Fenian Movement', 'My Left Foot', 'Letters by a Successful TD', 'A Study of Beckett', 'The Republic of Ireland', 'The Course of Irish History', 'The Path To Freedom' and 'Reminiscences of a Maynooth Professor'.
Books of a specialist nature include 'Ireland Observed', 'A Study of Souperism', and 'History of Irish Regiments in the First World War' as well as a number of children's books. The latest publication is 'The People of Ireland'.
Mercier Press has also engaged in translating many theological works into foreign languages.
The translation of Irish authors into foreign languages has been a consistent part of our policy always.
As Mercier Press continues to grow John Feehan talks about plans for the future of the publishing house, and is preparing to move with the times and adapt to changes in the way people consume books, whatever form that may take,
Níl fhios agam cad tá romhainn, ach rachaimid isteach ann.
This episode of 'Féach' was broadcast on 25 January 1971. The reporter is Breandán Ó hEithir. This report is Irish and English.