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Seomra Spraoi (English: Play Room) is an autonomous social centre in Dublin, Ireland. The space is run by an anti-capitalist collective along autonomous principles. The project attracts people from diverse social and political backgrounds. The space is rented and does not receive state funding, it is funded through one-off and regular donations.
Formerly located at Ormond Quay, then Mary's Abbey, the social centre is currently situated at 10 Belvedere Court, behind Mountjoy Square and off Gardiner Street Upper, in Dublin's north inner city. As well as the collective's regular Thursday assembly (on the second and fourth Thursday of the month) and weekly bike workshop, the centre is used for meetings of many different groups, including the Dublin branch of Fracking Free Ireland, Queer Thing, the Forgotten Zine Archive, the Food Conspiracy Collective (bulk food ordering group), Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Dublin-Basque Solidarity committee, Anarchist Prisoner Support, Abortion Rights Campaign, Auntie Underground Cinema and the Workers' Solidarity Movement among others. The space is also host to many other workshops.
The project also provides resource space for many other grassroots activists, collaborative groups and individuals to organise.
In February 2011 the project was the only space in Dublin that would host a public talk by Philip Nitschke, founder and director of the pro-euthanasia group Exit International, after several other venues cancelled on short notice due to pressure from small right-wing Christian groups. The Seomra Spraoi collective explained that they did “not take a position on euthanasia, but supports the freedom to meet and speak without fear of intimidation.” The collective said it did not receive or seek funding from any local, government or EU authority. This autonomy meant it was less likely to be subject to pressure from authorities, lobby groups or the mainstream media.
The space consists of a welcoming area with an array of literature, a large cinema room which hosts film and documentary screenings. This room is also used for meetings, workshops, gigs and other events. There is also a large seating space with a self-service tea and coffee area and a regular vegan cafe on Wednesday evenings. Upstairs there is a small meeting room and a large meeting room, which also contains the small library and zine-archive. One part of the upstairs space houses the office of the Workers' Solidarity Movement.
Outside, in the back there are two covered seating areas and has space to plant herbs and fruit. Every Wednesday there are volunteer bike mechanics to help people with repairs and building. The bike workshop operates on a donation basis and its ethos is in skill-sharing.
The space has two toilets and wireless internet along with two computers. There are several projects and activities working out of the space. Spanish, Basque, English and Arabic classes are, or have been, provided on a donation basis. Seomra Spraoi hosts a wide variety of political meetings, workshops, discussions, gigs and events, each on a donation basis.
- Mooney, Sinead (September 2007). "Spraoi's company". Irish Times.
- "Dublin gets new radical centre". Infoshop News (Infoshop.org). December 31, 2006.
- "Seomra Spraoi provides venue for assisted suicide workshop".[dead link]
- Seomra Spraoi
- Article on Seomra Spraoi in 'What's This Place' Booklet
- 'Doctor Death' to stage more suicide seminars