Irishtown Grandad’s Book a hit despite lockdown

by Amy Rohu

A grandad from Irishtown who self-published a book last year, has just reached 1000 sales.

John Carpenter, a self-taught artist wrote and illustrated the book last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2020, everything stopped with COVID. I was working as an art tutor in libraries around Dublin and work had stopped due to lockdown. I had the time to write the book then. When speaking about the process John explained: “I’m not a writer and it took me a while to get started, but after a while I got it done and then I was looking for someone to illustrate it”.

After some consideration John decided to illustrate the book himself. “I wasn’t confident to illustrate it myself, but after a while I gave it a go and I ended up doing it”.

The book tells the story of how a grandad, and his two King Charles Spaniels, Poppy and Indy, saved the Poolbeg Chimneys, an idea which came about from his grandchildren Emma and Zoe. “Anytime I drove them to my home in Irishtown from Blessington, once we would see the chimneys, we knew we were close to home. It was a long drive for them so I would tell them stories. There has been talk over the years about the chimneys getting removed, so I would tell them how we were going to save them”.

With all the publishers closed due to the pandemic, John looked at the idea of publishing it himself. “Everywhere was closed due to lockdown. Publishers were closed and no where was accepting submissions so I had to publish it myself.”

When asked if he would have done this without the pandemic he said: “No, never, I would 100 percent not have done this without lockdown. Over the last year I have learnt new skills too and I’m looking at writing another book now. It helps to keep my mind active”.

You can buy a copy of A Chimney Adventure – How Grandad, Poppy and Indy Saved the Chimneys online at or in Books on The Green in Sandymount.

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