Coffee shop at St Peter’s Church faces ‘sacrilegious’ backlash 

Pop-up coffee shop CiaoCiaoCoffee has faced backlash because it is set up on the grounds of St. Peter’s Church in Phibsboro.  

While the small portable shop was welcomed by St Peter’s parish priest and Dublin City Council, some criticism was expressed on Joe Duffy’s Liveline on RTE Radio One recently.

CiaoCiaoCoffee opened in mid-October and aims to serve a quick coffee or a fresh sandwich to go.  

“People can come by, enjoy our coffee and may say to themselves, ‘Well I haven’t been to confession in a while or in to light a candle’ – and it might inspire them to go to mass,” Brendan Moran, the owner of CiaoCiaoCoffee, told The Liberty.  

The owner of CiaoCiaoCoffee Brendan Moran (right) and an employee. 

“It’s a bit annoying that these horse-boxes can just pop-up willy-nilly and take the business of coffee shops that have been in the area for a while,” Eoin Pearce, owner of Dutchess Foods in Phibsboro, told Liveline. 

“The area doesn’t need any more coffee shops.” 

The topic was discussed on Liveline after an e-mail was sent to the parish stating: “Do not turn my Father’s house into a marketplace.”  

A woman told the phone-in show said that the opening of CiaoCiaoCoffee on the church grounds was “sacrilegious”. 

Moran obviously disagrees. “A lot of churches are closing across Ireland so we hope the coffee shop can help keep St. Peter’s Church from closing too as it’s a remarkable landmark,” he told The Liberty.

“The idea was welcomed by both the senior planner of Dublin City Council and Father Eamon Devlin, the parish priest,” he added.  

“A lot of churches are also closing across Ireland, so we hope the coffee shop can help keep St. Peter’s Church from closing too, as it’s a remarkable landmark.”

Brendan Moran the owner of CiaoCiaoCoffee.

Moran says the shop uses ingredients that are sourced in Italy in their sandwiches, titled the Vittorio and the Raffaello – named after Moran’s sons. 

“Italians are perfectionists when it comes to food and drink and so CiaoCiaoCoffee’s quality aims to match that of Italy. 

“We tasted coffee for about a year before we set up. We went all over Ireland and we settled on McCabe’s coffee for quality and Fairtrade purposes,” said Moran.

The full Liveline broadcast can be found here