Wednesday 19 September 2018

Internet cafe that was once a chapel to get protected status


Talbot Street cafe
Talbot Street cafe

A GRAFFITI-covered internet cafe is to become a protected structure due to its colourful history.

Located in Dublin's Talbot Street, the Five Star Internet Cafe was once the home of a Welsh chapel which was used during the 1916 Rising to store arms for the rebels.

Dublin City Council gave the go-ahead for the building to be named a protected structure last week.

The cafe will not be required to change its appearance, but it can now receive funding for future preservation of its ceiling and windows, which date from 1805.

Welsh mail boat sailors used the chapel when they travelled to Dublin during regular round trips.

It was also said to be popular with the rebels, including politician and literary figure Ernest Blythe, a member of the Irish Volunteers, who was said to attend the chapel because the use of Welsh reminded him of Irish.

This was at the time when the Irish language was deemed to be dying out in the capital, before the foundation of the Republic.

In 1944 the chapel shut its doors and was sold on to private ownership.

It became a shoe shop, then a snooker hall and now an internet cafe.


Richard Bonney, the secretary of the Welsh Society in Ireland, said he is trying to contact the owner of the building to install a plaque.

He said the building was "of huge historical significance", and the shared history of the Irish and Welsh merited it becoming a protected national monument.

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