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The Dáil 'tuck shop' that cost €1.3 million to build and lasted five years is reopening (sort of)

An Síopa was known as ‘the most expensive tuck shop in Ireland’ when it was opened in 2008.

'An Síopa' on the grounds of Leinster House
'An Síopa' on the grounds of Leinster House
Image: bmcea.com

AN SÍOPA, THE controversial shop at the front entrance to Leinster House, is to reopen as a gift shop selling Oireachtas merchandise over a year after it was closed down.

The glass structure, located just inside the main gates of the Oireachtas complex off Kildare Street, was opened in January 2008 after costing some €1.3 million to build, more than half-a-million more than was estimated.

The shop, dubbed ‘the most expensive tuck shop in Ireland’, sold snacks, newspapers and Leinster House merchandise but its customer base was limited to TDs, Senators, their staffs and those working in the Oireachtas.

Rehab Enterprises, which ran the outlet, closed it in June of last year after deciding that it was no longer viable.

The shop is set to be reopened later this year and will sell Oireachtas merchandise to visitors to the home of Ireland’s two houses of parliament, a spokesperson for the Houses of the Oireachtas confirmed.

A proposal to reopen it as a gift shop and a tea room was scrapped earlier this summer.

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission had been considering a proposal to spend spend nearly €33,000 to kit it out with a barista coffee machine – costing nearly €10,000 – and allocate staff to work on the premises.

But this idea was scrapped with a source saying it was decided not to precede with the idea on the basis that it was neither appropriate nor necessary giving the existing tea and coffee facilities within Leinster House.

A spokesperson for the Oireachtas confirmed that there would be no cost to reinstall shelving that had been removed when the premises was closed last year.

The gift shop is expected to open sometime in September.

Last year: Belt-tightening at Leinster House as Oireachtas ‘tuck shop’ closes

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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