Saturday 19 January 2019

Tram's journey from Lisbon to a field in Cavan and now a city cafe

Owner Dave Fitzpatrick in front of the Tram Cafe on Dublin’s Wolfe Tone Square
Owner Dave Fitzpatrick in front of the Tram Cafe on Dublin’s Wolfe Tone Square

Dublin city has a new cafe in the form of a 114-year-oldtram, despite objections to its location by local people and politicians.

Situated on Wolfe Tone Square, the 1902 tram originally built in Philadelphia has become a magnet for neighbours and tourists alike.

Owner Dave Fitzpatrick stumbled across the tram when he took a wrong turn in Cavan.


"I drove down a wrong road outside Mullagh and there was the tram in the corner of a field," he said.

"I fell in love with it at once and immediately had the cafe idea for it, but it proved to be anything but straightforward.

"It took several trips to find out who owned it and get in touch with them."

The tram was not for sale, but Dave went back six months later and eventually struck a deal.

"We dragged it out of the field and I stored it on a friend's farm for three years as I planned what to do. Eventually I got a builder, John Boyle, on board who loved the tram as much as I did," said Dave.

"It has a very interesting history. It spent most of its working life in Lisbon, and then spent some time in a museum in Colwyn Bay in Wales before being sold and somehow ending up in Cavan."

However, Ciaran Flynn of the Wolfe Tone Park community group said that while they have no difficulty with the tram and its owners, and indeed wish them well, they are annoyed at the location.

"We were promised the park would be restored to its former glory, but our motion was replaced by a local area committee motion and by the end of January this year the Green Party, Labour Party and Sinn Fein voted against the park restoration in favour of a new commercial premises on the site," he said.

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