Quay Co-Op

September 22, 2021.

September Media Release

‘The Quay Co-op’ documentary will be shown at 11am in the Gate Cinema in Cork on Sunday 26th September 2021 as part of the IndieCork Festival. The documentary tells the story of a workers co-operative in Cork that created not only a thriving food business but also a space in which many of the social justice campaigns of recent years could develop. It features some of the key people involved in the foundation of the Co-op along with those working there today.

Quay Co-op Origins

The Quay Co-op was founded in the early 1980s when Cork was a pretty bleak place. Different groups began to meet in the Quay Co-op to explore issues such as gay rights, the 1983 anti-abortion amendment, the Criminal Justice Bill and the first Divorce Referendum.

The group realized early on that they would need to become commercially viable and to this end they set up a food co-op, a shop and a restaurant, which would help to fund the building on Sullivans Quay and to pay for its upkeep. Over the years a balance always had to be found between the campaigning work that many members of the Co-op were involved in and the day to day work needed to create enough funds to keep the Co-op running.

In the almost forty years since the Co-op was established, Ireland has undergone a massive social and cultural shift with the changes in legislation relating to divorce, abortion, marriage equality etc and the Quay Co-op has played an important role in creating those changes. The documentary includes a rich collection of archive footage and photographs from this time. The Quay Co-op also retained its strong interest in food politics and remains to this day a leader in the provision of organic wholefood for the city.

Pre-covid there were 64 employees in the Quay Co-op but some unfortunately had to be let go when the restaurant closed. However the Co-op has survived throughout the pandemic, due to its 3 shops around Cork city, the in-house bakery and a food production business. It is planning to shortly re-open the famous vegetarian restaurant and there is every reason to believe that the Quay Co-op will continue to play an important role in shaping Cork and Ireland’s history.

The documentary has been produced by Frameworks Films in collaboration with the Quay Co-op and was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. Following on from the screening at IndieCork it will also be broadcast on Cork Community Television. For further information please visit www.frameworksfilms.com, quaycoop.com or indiecork.com

For further information please contact Emma Bowell on 087-2406760