Caifé Gaelach set to create new cultural hub in village

By Mary Dennehy

TALLAGHT’S Caifè Gaelach is set to open on November 16, with the new venture hoping to harness the local love of the Irish language while creating a new cultural hub in the village.

The Echo visited the caifè on Tallaght Village’s Main Street last week, when pupils from Scoil Santain and Scoil Chaitlín Maude celebrated Halloween and the opening of their new community Caifè Gaelach through dance and song.

Scoila Caithlin Maude and Scoil Santain compressor

Pupils from Scoil Chaitlín Maude and Scoil Santain

While the caifè, which is called Caifé Aon Scéal, wasn’t officially opened, the vibrancy that this new cultural centre will bring to Tallaght was evident.

It was pretty amazing to witness schoolchildren, teachers, parents and members of the wider community chatting away as Gaeilge – with the caifè providing an inclusive space for people to use and learn Irish within an everyday community setting.

Speaking with The Echo, Pól Ó Meádhra, Chair of Gaelphobal Thamhlachta and Scoil Santain teacher, stressed that the caifè is a social outlet for those with no Irish, some Irish and fluent speakers.

“Drop in over the next couple of weeks . . . whether you have Irish, a little bit of Irish or no Irish at all,” Pól said.

“Tá fáilte romhat.”

A house on Main Street, which dates back to 1910, has been transformed by Gaelphobal Thamhlachta into a bright, spacious, open-plan caifé.

The transformation also pays tribute to the house’s original features such as fireplaces and stone walls.

Caife Ghaelach compressor

The cosy interior of the caifé

It’s been a long road for Gaelphobal Thamhlachta, which bought the house at the end of 2014.

However, after five long years, the kettle is on the boil at Tallaght’s Caifè Gaelach, which is due to open to the public on Saturday, November 16.

“The caifè opening comes with a great sense of accomplishment, particularly in light of the support from the community,” Pól told The Echo.

“There are very few areas nationally with a cultural centre like this.

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Cupán tae?

“It’s an extension of the Irish movement generally and is about normalising the language and putting it out there into the community.”

The caifè will also boast an Irish bookshop, with long-term plans for a small Irish theatre out the back in the pipeline. This will be used by youth group Feachtas.

The caifè is also generating employment and will be run by one full-time and two part-time employees, who are past students of Scoil Santain and Scoil Chaitlín Maude.

Caife

A team of volunteers will also be helping out on a regular basis, and helping to serve cakes, sandwiches and soups.

A variety of coffees is also on the menu, including the caifè’s own brand, An Mocha Coinníollach.

Gaelphobal Thamhlachta has thanked South Dublin County Council for its “fantastic support” in getting the caifè up-and-running and the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, which provided a grant.

The caifè will open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 12pm on Sunday. Breakfast will be available on Saturdays and Sundays.

Follow Ghaelphobal Thamhlachta on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

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