Community spirits lifted
Paula Murphy, Lisa Hogan and Maria in the Coffee Dock on Wednesday morning

Community spirits lifted

THE kettle is on the boil again at the community Coffee Dock in Fettercairn, after the recent lifting of most restrictions saw the hub re-open fully to the public.

Based in the Fettercairn Youth and Community Centre, the Coffee Dock is a welcoming hub for locals of all ages, serving a smile, friendship and community connections with its affordable food and hot drinks menu.

The vital role that community-based services play was never more evident than in the past two years, when closures and reduced opening hours left a noticeable void across local estates.

The Coffee Dock in Fettercairn is among a number of services dotted across Tallaght that provide an easily accessible space for locals to gather within their own area.

Lorraine Rochford is the manager of the Coffee Dock in Fettercairn, which employs eight people from the community.

“We’re hoping to rebuild now, get people back in”, Lorraine this week told The Echo.

“The Coffee Dock has been a very lonely place the past two years in between lockdowns and reduced opening hours.

“However, we’re all just so looking forward now to welcoming people back.

Coffee Dock staff Maria, Michelle, Jackie and Mags

“It was great this week to see the kids coming in after school again, it’s great to see the place open… it’s just amazing.”

She added: “The Coffee Dock is a focal point for the community, if you walk out on the street from here there’s no-where else locally to go for coffee.

“[The Coffee Dock] is an outlet for the community… and is important for people’s wellbeing and health.

“People come in and they get to know the faces of the people who work here and the reception area for the community centre is on hand [if anyone wants to learn about groups or services].”

Lorraine acknowledged that some residents may be feeling nervous following the lifting of restrictions.

“Some people are still nervous, and we are continuing to make the Coffee Dock as safe and welcoming as possible”, she said.

“Safety measures will still be in place in the Coffee Dock.

“We’d invite people to drop in for a coffee, you might meet a neighbour, get your connection with the community going again.

“We also know that it has been a lonely time for our older residents, and we look forward to welcoming them back in.”

Foluke Oladusu and Mary Keegan

Lorraine understands that it may take a little bit of time for some people to drop back into the Coffee Dock.

However, she reassured the community that staff will be on hand to support customers when the time is right.

The Coffee Dock is also extending its opening hours to facilitate the community and the many different groups and clubs using the community centre after 5pm.

From Monday to Wednesday the Coffee Dock will be open from 9am to 8pm, on Thursday it will be open until 6.30pm and Fridays until 7pm.

Fettercairn Estate Manager Mary Keegan is a volunteer on the Board of Management of the Fettercairn Community Enterprise Company (The Coffee Dock).

According to Mary, the past two years was also a very worrying time for the Coffee Dock from a financial point of view.

However, thanks to some small grants from Pobail, the Coffee Dock has made it through the pandemic and is now looking forward – with plans for outside catering for South Dublin businesses and groups in the pipeline.

“We’re just so happy to be back open… and we’re so looking forward to meeting the community again”, Mary said.

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