We are working to set up a creative space for organising, educating and community building centered around a bookshop with cultural activity and campaigning in Cork city.

Cork is full of a vibrant sense of community, with an abundance of progressive, creative, talented people across various fields – from activists to musicians, to artists and beyond. We want to establish a center for all of this activity while creating an open creative space in the city.

Are you interested in seeing or contributing to an autonomous center being set up in Cork city?

We are currently rolling out different ways of raising funds so that we can rent a space in the Marina Business Park in Cork City which will build from the ideas of Solidarity Books. This will provide a venue for progressive, independent groups in Cork, along with operating as an open, community-focused space, available for a variety of uses.

We are interested in organising the new space in a way that can accommodate a bookshop, cafe, art exhibitions, music, talks and festivals. We want this place to act as a meeting space and a center of activity for all leftist and alternative groups and individuals in Cork. This will be an inclusive space, focused on mutual support, autonomy, equality and working collaboratively to build sustainable structures. We will also be looking for contributions for other uses for the space.

The Issue

Ever since the closure of Solidarity Books in 2015 and the first Rebel Reads closure in 2018, Cork has been without an autonomous space where people can meet, organise and hold events.

As the second biggest city in the Republic, Cork has a real need for a community hub where independent and progressive groups can meet, work together, share resources, organise fun events, have days of action or simply to socialise.

Our aim is to fill the current gap and set up a multifunctional and self-sustainable space, run by and for the people as an inclusive, progressive, non-hierarchical organisation.

We plan to use the space to socialise, learn, organise and celebrate.

What has happened so far: 

  • In 2017 we set ourselves up as a formal organisation, establishing ourselves as a Company Limited by Guarantee, with a constitution and ethos behind us.
  • In 2018 we rented our first premises on Fr Matthew Quay. In a very short time we managed to create heaps of excitement around Rebel Reads and lots of different people, groups and initiatives engaged with the space. This space closed in Ocotber 2018 due to circumstances outside of our control.
  • In August 2020 we took up a new premises in the Marina Business Park. We are now working towards opening in September/October and once we have organised the space and its use in line with COVID-19 measures.
  • In September 2020 we put out a call for volunteers – which was answered by more than 50 skilled and passionate people. Hooray! We have had our first online volunteer meeting and look forward to working with everyone to get the new Rebel Reads space up and running.
  • Over the coming weeks and months, we will be welcoming members. Membership entails payment (€5 per month or a €60 lump sum per year) which will contribute towards the running of the organisation. All members are welcome to contribute to the organisation, use the space and participate in decision making; we will hold an AGM where all members are invited to have their say – all paid up members will have a vote. We also welcome members who simply wish to support the venture financially.
  • We are also working to develop key income streams for the organisation which will contribute to the running costs of the space.
  • In early 2021 we plan our next AGM. All members will be welcome to contribute to the organisation at this stage.

About us:

The current steering committee includes Alan Gibson, Eric Hayes, Joya Kuin, Paidi Madden, Eoin O’Leidhin, John Ryan, JerrieAnn Sullivan, Declan Synnott and Susanna Trifiletti.

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more or get involved!