Seomra Spraoi (English: Play Room) was a self-managed social centre in Dublin, Ireland which first opened in 2004 and closed in 2015. It was run on a not-for-profit basis by an anti-capitalist collective with anarchist principles. [1][2]

Seomra Spraoi
General information
ClassificationSelf-managed social centre
Address10 Belvedere Court, Dublin 1
Town or cityDublin
Technical details
Floor count2

Location edit

Seomra Spraoi was first located at Ormond Quay, then Mary's Abbey, then at 10 Belvedere Court, behind Mountjoy Square.[3] It first opened in 2004 and closed in 2015.[4]

Events edit

Located at Belvedere Court, the building had two floors and a garden. There was a kitchen, a cinema, a computer, a library, a free shop and meeting spaces.[2] Seomra Spraoi hosted a number of regular events such as a vegan cafe, bicycle repair workshop, gigs, free cinema and art exhibitions.[5][6] Fundraisers were held for groups such as Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland, and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).[7] Queer Thing organised at the space and Auntie Underground Cinema screened anarchist films fortnightly.[8]

Other events included anti-authoritarian parent and child groups, anarcha-feminist meetings and a table-tennis club.[4] From 2005 onwards, Seomra Spraoi hosted the Forgotten Zine archive, created in 2004 by Ciarán Walsh. It contained around 1,200 zines from both Irish and foreign authors. The archive was open access and volunteers catalogued the zines on LibraryThing into four broad categories namely: Artistic & Creative; Music; Political and Social; Resources.[1]

The project hosted a public talk by Philip Nitschke, founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International in 2010.[9] In February 2011, Seomra Spraoi provided a venue for Nitschke again, after several other venues cancelled on short notice due to pressure from right-wing Christian groups.[10] Also in 2011, a series of planning meetings took place for what would become Occupy Dame Street.[11] During a 2014 International Squatters Convergence, there were entertainments at Seomra Spraoi.[12]

Closure edit

Seomra Spraoi was forced to shut after a Garda Síochána (police) raid which was followed by a visit from the Dublin Fire Brigade.[13] Afterwards, some former participants developed it into a gig venue under the name Jigsaw,[6] which closed in April 2021.[14]

The building was demolished in December 2022.[15]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Hamel, Leigh Ann; Maher, Tom; O'Dwyer, Mick; Cook, Eric (1 March 2014). "Organizing Anarchy: The Forgotten Zine Archive". IConference 2014 Proceedings: 1013–1016. doi:10.9776/14350. hdl:2142/47389. ISBN 978-0-9884900-1-7.
  2. ^ a b Mullally, Una (27 April 2013). "In freewheeling Dublin collective Seomra Spraoi, the personable is political". Irish Times. Ireland. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Dublin gets new radical centre". Infoshop News. 31 December 2006. Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2008.
  4. ^ a b Mooney, Sinead (September 2007). "Spraoi's company". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 29 October 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
  5. ^ White, Anna Sheswell (25 September 2014). "Mountjoy Square sparks Notting Hill-style revival". Irish Independent. Dublin. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Seomra Spraoi". Poster Fish Promotions. 30 July 2016. Archived from the original on 29 June 2018. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  7. ^ Shaw, James (21 February 2017). "Fighting for Justice at Home and Abroad: Students for Justice in Palestine". Ireland. Archived from the original on 1 January 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  8. ^ Leahy, Eileen (2013). "Beyond the Multiplex: Contemporary Trends in Film Exhibition in Dublin". Estudios Irlandeses (in Spanish) (8): 216–219. doi:10.24162/ei. hdl:10379/6584.
  9. ^ Gleeson, Colin (20 March 2010). "'Doctor Death' to stage more suicide seminars". Independent. Dublin. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Seomra Spraoi provides venue for assisted suicide workshop". Archived from the original on 8 March 2011.
  11. ^ Kiersey, Nicholas (July 2014). "Occupy Dame Street as slow-motion general strike? Justifying optimism in the wake of Ireland's failed multitudinal moment". Global Discourse. 4 (2–3): 141–158. doi:10.1080/23269995.2014.898530.
  12. ^ Creed, Barry (26 September 2014). "Squatters from around the world gather in Dublin". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 11 August 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  13. ^ Lawton, P.; O’Callaghan, C. (2015). "Temporary solutions? Vacant space policy and strategies for re-use in Dublin". Irish Geography. 48 (1): 69–87. hdl:2262/81805. Archived from the original on 2 August 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2020.
  14. ^, 27 April 2021
  15. ^ "Seomra Spraoi is gone. Bye bye Seomra..." Twitter. Retrieved 31 December 2022.

External links edit

53°21′28″N 6°15′29″W / 53.35778°N 6.25806°W / 53.35778; -6.25806