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History of Dublin Gurdwara building-

Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar traces its origin to weekly prayer sessions held in restaurants owned by early Sikh immigrants in the 1980s. These men who migrated to Ireland in 1972 as chefs gradually began to hold weekly prayer sessions in their restaurant during the summer of 1984. For the next year and a half, community members continued this practice of religious and social get-togethers in restaurants. Other Indians who were known or happened to visit the restaurant for meals also attended these prayer sessions. One of these Indian visitors, Dr Narayan, a veterinary surgeon from India, suggested that Sikh community members should build a place of worship for the next generation, rather than simply meeting in restaurants. So the first meeting was held in the Ashoka restaurant in May 1985 to plan to build a gurdwara. A month later, on 23rd June 1985, Air India Flight 182 crashed near the Irish coast killing all 329 passengers on board, many of whom were Sikhs. Since there was no gurdwara then, the Indian Embassy in Dublin had difficulty in finding a Sikh priest who could possibly perform the final rites for the Sikh passengers. Three days later, on 26 June 1985, community members opened a bank account in the name of “Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar” with an initial balance of £326 and continued looking for a possible place that could be used as a gurdwara. In December 1986, the Oscar theatre, an abandoned building in the Ballsbridge area of Dublin, was bought for £49,000 with the support of the Sikh community in London.

 

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Formerly serving generations of Dubliners as a cinema and then a theatre, the Oscar was transformed into a space with a new purpose. The transformation from the Oscar Theatre to the Dublin gurdwara of today occurred in three phases. Most of the work was done by members of local Sikh families. Since there were only a few families up until 2000, the work took many years to complete. The number of Sikhs in Ireland grew post 2000, which resulted in a marked increase in the number of people who regularly attend the gurdwara. Since there is only one gurdwara in the Republic of Ireland, it has become an important religious and social institution for the Sikhs living in various parts of the country.

Meet The Committee

Click here to see the Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Working Committee / Staff - May 2020.

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