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New Owner for Irish Academic Press

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Peter O'Connell

At a time where we often learn of publishers leaving the sector – or significantly reducing their output – it is encouraging to learn that longstanding and highly respected Irish Academic Press has ensured its future in announcing its new owner and publisher Conor Graham.

Irish Academic Press was founded by Frank Cass in 1974 and, following his death in 2007, his son Stewart continued and expanded the business while remaining true to the core values of the company – integrity, scholarly research and accessible, insightful writing. Key titles such as Reflections on the Irish State by Garrett Fitzerald and The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght exemplify how IAP brought to the fore many important and revealing aspects of Irish history, society and current affairs.

Conor Graham is well known throughout the Irish book trade from his role as the commercial director of New Island Books from 2009, working under Edwin Higel and Dermot Bolger, and also as the sales and marketing manager of Brookside Publishing Services from 2002. It was in this latter role that Conor represented Irish Academic Press to the book trade and grew very familiar and enthusiastic about its highly respected titles, authors and tradition. The keen rapport and mutual understanding between Stewart, the Cass Family and Conor Graham meant that he was clearly the ideal successor, and well placed to take Irish Academic Press into the future. Speaking about the acquisition, Conor said: “This is a really unique opportunity to run a publishing house of such great reputation and influence, to base it in Ireland, and to marry its tradition with my own experience and vision. I’m thrilled.”

As the new owner of Irish Academic Press, Conor is committed to continuing the work of the company and reinforcing its brand, and through the creation of a new general imprint, Merrion Press, to develop IAP’s publishing in the coming years. The range of titles span general Irish history and literary studies, specialising in modern Irish history, 20th century military and political history, as well as books in the areas of arts, media, women’s studies and genealogy.

With 10 new titles planned for Autumn 2012 ( four Merrion, six IAP) and between 25-30 titles in 2013, the company’s publishing programme has never been so vibrant. Key titles in the coming months include the first selection of the letters of the hugely influential Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid, entitledHis Grace is Displeased: The Selected Letters of John Charles McQuaid, 1940-1972, a fascinating insight into the world of a man who touched the lives of so many; Tom Clarke: Life, Liberty, Revolution is part biography and part letters and diaries, of the old Fenian, and quiet architect, of the Easter Rising; and the fascinating historical thriller Glenveagh Mystery, all publishing under the Merrion imprint.

Find out more about the fabulous range of books that Irish Academic Press publish athttp://www.irishacademic.com/

About the author

(c) Peter O’Connell August 2012

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