History was made when the first Repair Café in the Midlands opened its doors in St Kieran’s Community Centre, Athlone on Saturday November 22. People thronged to the centre to have their household items fixed by repair specialists who were on standby to tackle the problem and give advice. The items repaired were varied and ranged from a broken mirror frame, ipods, and iron, to an old mantelpiece clock that was given a new lease of life after many years of not working. Visitors could also avail of a cuppa and a treat while waiting for their turn.
Mayor of Athlone Cllr Frankie Keena officially opened the event, congratulating Westmeath County Council, Athlone Tidy Towns, and Midlands Makerspace group for bringing the event to fruition.
Shay Hamilton of Athlone Tidy Towns said the event “promotes sustainable living”, with people learning how to fix many items while also preventing them from going to landfill.
“There is a category ‘Sustainable Waste & Resource Management’ in the Tidy Towns competition and this event is a prime example of this in action,” he added.
Bianca Fachel of Midlands Makerspace said: “We are delighted to be involved in this event and to be able to showcase our skills and pass them on to others - this is very important in trying to build a sustainable community.”
The Repair Café concept originated in Amsterdam in 2009 and this is the first to be held in the Midlands area. The goals of a Repair Café are to bring back repairing into the community in a modern way, to maintain repair expertise, and to spread the knowledge.
Dates for upcoming Repair Cafés can be seen on www.repaircafe.ie