- 27 Apr 21
"There wasn't another dance floor, anywhere, that had the energy it packed into even an average night," Dublin Digital Radio commented. "The respect that dancers had for each other, the camaraderie on the dance floor, the feeling of freedom and the luxury of being able to express yourself without limits..."
News of the closure of iconic Dublin cultural and social space Jigsaw has been met with serious outcry across social media – with many Irish creatives and activists mourning the loss of yet another beloved space in the city.
Jigsaw, located on Belvedere Court, near Mountjoy Square in Dublin 1, was where Dublin Digital Radio launched in October 2016 – with an eight-hour-long, all-day party.
"It's hard to imagine the station even existing without Jigsaw," ddr. wrote in a statement last night. "The energy of that day ignited our enthusiasm for this project. The energy of that dance floor throughout that day and night told us we'd stumbled (accidentally some would say) into our dream home – a space where we could marry the online radio space with a shared physical presence under one roof.
"On that day, Barry didn't charge us a dime," they continued. "Every cent we raised went straight back into the station. We started the station with no funds – our first cash injection came from that party and Barry's belief in the project and his generosity gave us the much need kickstart we needed. As well as this, for our first year there, operating out of the cupboard in the old rabble office, we paid a measly €50 in rent. Without the noose of a crazy rents around our neck, we had the space to develop and grow the station. It's hard to think how we would have ever gotten off the ground without this."
The statement went on to note that Dublin Digital Radio's monthly parties at Jigsaw "became a core feature of the station."
"There wasn't another dance floor, anywhere, that had the energy it packed into even an average night; the respect that dancers had for each other, the camaraderies on the dance floor, the feeling of freedom and the luxury of being able to express yourself without limits... It was a dance floor built for dancers and without the watchful eyes of security or the distractions of the bar, it became the best in the country. Finding an alternative space for these nights, that could trust us with the freedom that Barry gave us there will be a challenge."
Concluding the statement, they pointed out that, "Without spaces such as Jigsaw, that give refuge to the counter currents, there will forever be a stranglehold on new ideas, movements and organisations to find their feet in their early stages."
In response to the news, the Community Action Tenants Union for the Phibsboro-Glasnevin area argued that "Property speculation and the relentless commodification of space in Dublin will not provide truly inclusive cultural and community amenities in our city; we have to build lasting alternatives together."
Nice words from @DublinDigiRadio marking the end of Jigsaw.
Property speculation and the relentless commodification of space in Dublin will not provide truly inclusive cultural and community amenities in our city; we have to build lasting alternatives together.#ripjigsaw https://t.co/kLyDGYpyUq
— CATU Phibsboro-Glasnevin (@CGlasnevin) April 26, 2021
Róisín Ní Haicéid of Banríon noted that Jigsaw was the place where she first "entered into the world of housing activism and organising"; where she "learnt more than in any module"; and where she "could dance and hang out and meet people and eat and sing."
"Physical space is so crucial to community," she stated.
jigsaw was the place i entered into the world of housing activism and organising, its where I learnt more than in any module, it's also where I could dance and hang out and meet people and eat and sing. physical space is so crucial to community. RIP jigsaw dublin wont be the same
— banríon (@banrionbaby) April 27, 2021
Dublin rapper Mango's reaction was short and simple, but powerful: "Christ tonight."
Daniel Lambert, manager of Kneecap and Chief Operating Officer of Bohemian Football Club, described Jigsaw as "one of the most accessible, diverse and welcoming places in a city that's more homogeneous by the day."
Really saddened to hear jigsaw is no more - one of the most accessible, diverse and welcoming places in a city that’s more homogeneous by the day https://t.co/7sgLmLNBWy
— Daniel Lambert (@dlLambo) April 26, 2021
Actress and comedian Hannah Mamalis also reacted to the news:
Don’t think I realized how much I was looking forward to a big gross sweatfest in Jigsaw. Major bummer
— Hannah Mamalis (@Hantmam) April 26, 2021
See more reactions below:
ah, not jigsaw. rip to the grimiest floor in all of dublin xx pic.twitter.com/MLStae222K
— countess markiebitch 🇵🇸 (@CiaraLouise_) April 26, 2021
Devastated jigsaw is gone. Was such an important space for learning and playing and figuring things out and meeting good people and hanging out the back and lending a hand and eating together and drinking together. https://t.co/mvwKdCRtBp
— Aine O’Gorman (@aine_awwnya) April 26, 2021
Jigsaw was such a buzz of a venue, sad to see yet another creative space disappear. Hope there’s some support for new spaces in the future🤞Here’s a little clip from the Werkshop gig I played a couple years back, lit afffff pic.twitter.com/dZGFwol5mA
— Siobhán (Shiv) (@shivskirmish) April 27, 2021
Jigsaw was where it all started and we will hold it in our hearts as the place where we joined our DDR fam. The parties were a place of inclusivity, relaxation and fun! It set the tone for the station itself and anybody involved. Huge thanks to Barry and everyone else involved ❤️ https://t.co/8bZnjrB0O7
— Adult Store (@AdultStoreDJs) April 27, 2021
With the news that Seomra Spraoi / Jigsaw is finally closing its doors, I made this wee tribute to some of the independent alternative art spaces we've lost in Dublin.
Each one was a piece of my heart. https://t.co/AIIFt8fnWK
— Gareth Stack (@garethstack) April 27, 2021
almost the entirety of my 20s were spent in this beautiful lil germ factory. 10% in meeting rooms learning from & organising with much smarter ppl than I, 60% standing on the stairs being annoying & 30% bouncing off those dancefloor poles like a moron. RIP jigsaw, 💛 u 4evs pic.twitter.com/TYdrGfnFxN
— Naoise Falafel (@naoisefalafel) April 26, 2021
Rip Jigsaw. The wonderfully talented @stevenpeice snapped this pic of me the last time I was lucky enough to perform there. We've lost another arts space and it will be difficult to replace but the scene will endure. pic.twitter.com/ZX1aEve9ls
— Allie O'Rourke (@allie_orourke) April 26, 2021
RIP Jigsaw and its various other names over the years... pic.twitter.com/t2wp92Pq1U
— Hugo Fitzpatrick (@HugoFitzpatrick) April 26, 2021
We are very sad to see the end of Jigsaw in Dublin. When we started RR, Jigsaw was spoken about as what we aspired to. And when we first got going, Barry set up a fundraiser for us immediately and kept membership forms in the space. All of Ireland will miss that beautiful space.
— RebelReads (@RebelReadsCork) April 26, 2021
While I am mourning Jigsaw it gives me hope that we pour thsi energy into an accessible multi-use venue in Dublin and beyond!! We need spaces that are dynamic and for ALL the community
— cherub (they/them) (@principite) April 27, 2021
A few gushing words on jigsaw if you'll allow me while feelings are high ❤️ pic.twitter.com/kX0qRXgrxS
— Brian Mac Conmara (@breenbeen) April 26, 2021