The first-ever Polish language book by an Irish publisher will be released today to cater for the estimated 200,000 Poles living and working in the country.
The Golden Book of Ireland or Zlota Ksiega Irlandia guidebook has already sold over 120,000 copies in its German, French, Italian and Spanish translation editions.
The O’Brien Press said its publishing venture reflects the multicultural changes within Irish society and noted that general interest Polish books are already being stocked in leading bookshops like Easons.
The immigrant community is also boosting other Irish business sectors such as job recruitment, mobile phone services, money transfer facilities and internet cafes.
Poles can now explore their adopted country with the Golden Book’s county by county tour with 200 photographs of historic places, monuments, scenery, people, fairs and festivals.
O’Brien Press managing director Ivan O’Brien: “With over 200,000 Polish people currently living in Ireland, we felt that there was a growing demand for a guide and souvenir of Ireland in Polish, one they could use to discover and enjoy Ireland more but also take home to show their families where they live.
“The Golden Book of Ireland has sold very successfully for us in other European languages and the time seemed right to include an EU accession state.”
The book will be launched in the Irish Polish Society in central Dublin this evening by Polish Embassy consul Piotr Apostolidis.
Irish Polish Society spokesman Pat Quigley welcomed the publishing initiative.
“The Polish community are tremendous readers and we hope that this is only the beginning of a dynamic relationship between Irish publishers and the growing number of Poles that call Ireland home.”
Established in 1974, the Rathgar-based O’Brien Press is one of Ireland’s oldest publishing houses. It has published over 1,000 best-selling books, 450 of which are still in print.
The publishing programme covers fiction, architecture, travel, humour, the environment, history, biography, classic literature, autobiography, guides and reference books.
Successful titles in previous years have included The General and Gangland by Paul Williams, The Feckin’ series by Donal O’Dea and Colin Murphy, Ross O’Carroll Kelly by Paul Howard, The Mammy by Brendan O’Carroll, The Joy by Paul Howard and Joey Dunlop by Stephen Davison.
Foreign rights sales have become a major part of O’Brien’s business over the past five years, with translation rights for its books selling to France, Spain (in Spanish and Catalan), Germany, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Latvia, Turkey, Portugal, Holland, Italy, Sweden, Japan and Thailand, as well as English language rights selling to the American, Canadian, Australian and British markets.
The Golden Book of Ireland/Zlota Ksiega Irlandia is published by The O’Brien Press, has 128 pages and is priced at €11.95.
Tourism is developing rapidly between Ireland and Poland with increased travel opportunities. Up to 17,000 people travel back and forth on several air routes every week and new bus services have also been expanded.
Trade is also growing quickly between the countries and investment is now measured in billions of euro.
The Polish president Lech Kaczynski and his wife paid a three-day visit to Ireland last month and met with the Taoiseach, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Polish community in Dublin.