Feb 3, 2022

TCDSU Cafe Cannot Re-open Until Health and Safety Issues Addressed

A HSE report ordered the cafe to remain closed until a ream of issues identified in a report are addressed.

Michael ArcherJunior Editor
Ivan Rakhmanin for The University Times

The cafe run by Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) cannot safely re-open until a ream of health and safety issues are addressed, according to a HSE report

The café, located in Goldsmith Hall, on the corner of Westland Row and Pearse St, was forced to close in March 2020 due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

The café, which has been closed for almost two years, cannot re-open in compliance with public health guidelines until changes highlighted in a HSE report are made.


In her officer’s report presented to council, TCDSU President Leah Keogh said that “the cafe closed in March 2020 due to Covid-19, since then a negative HSE report has come back”.

“Until the issues highlighted in the report are addressed, the cafe cannot safely reopen”, Keogh said. “We are working to explore the feasibility of reopening the cafe and in the interim, have put vending machines, coffee machines and microwaves into the space.”

TCDSU did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

In an email statement to The University Times, Hazel Gavigan, a HSE press officer, said: “Under food safety legislation, HSE Environmental Health Officers routinely inspect all food businesses, including catering facilities in third level institutions.”

“The HSE Environmental Health Service does not comment on individual cases and is legally precluded from sharing the outcome of any inspection or investigation with third parties”, she said.

The cafe offers lunch, coffee and snacks at student-friendly prices, as well as acting as a social space for students. Options for students included sandwiches, wraps and paninis, as well as hot and soft drinks.

Additionally, the cafe is staffed by students, allowing them to get barista training and other hospitality skills.

Having been closed since the beginning of the pandemic, the cafe returned a modest surplus of €979 in 2019.

In 2018, the cafe recorded a shortfall of €3,836, with a report by the TCDSU treasurer warning that it may have to close if the deficit was not resolved.

The report described how the deficit must be “eliminated” in the near future, with the cafe facing re-organisation, or potential closure, if progress was not made.

The previous year also saw a loss in the cafe, with the union’s accounts noting that it “will not fund a loss-making café in the long term”.

Emer Moreau also contributed reporting to this piece.

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