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21st Feb 2022

Spotlight on: Maddens, the Tralee cafe with an iconographic influence

Fiona Frawley

cream takeaway coffee cup with a red line illustration of the child of prague on the front

If you grew up in Ireland, you’ll know all too well the power the Child of Prague holds in his wee blue orb.

Hosting a First Holy Communion party and hoping the small fortune you’ve spent on a bouncy castle won’t go to waste? Child of Prague. Have an obscene amount of washing to get through, which could be made so much more manageable with the gift of Good Drying™ conditions? Child of Prague. Just generally would like a day without having to go through the mortifying ordeal of re-jigging your umbrella after a gust of wind forces it inside out? Child. Of. Prague.

For anyone wondering what on earth I’m on about at this stage, it’s an Irish tradition for those hoping for good weather on a certain day to put a Child of Prague statue outside their front door the night before. Inexplicably, it’s also tradition to behead the statue – not sure why. In any case, we’re not here to get into the history of religious iconography in Ireland. We’d be here all day, gals. We’re here to introduce you to Maddens, the Tralee cafe with a little bit of a Child of Prague obsession.

Based in one of the oldest houses in Tralee, Maddens is a speciality cafe which reopened for business today for the first time since Christmas. We came across them last year and fell in love with the heavy COP inspo, and had a chat to owner Ash about how the theme came to be:

 As (the Child of Prague) is a staple symbol of Irish homes, we had one in the window which over the years has turned into a collection of Child of Pragues, or “Christy” as the Tralee locals have christened him! 

There’s fierce craic with the older population who think we’re religious fanatics, not to mention our resident pooch Margaret Thatcher who sits in the window along with him! 

For reference, here’s Maggie T sitting in her designated spot, making sure everything’s running smoothly:

Along with tasty treats and speciality coffee from Bell Lane roasters, you can also pick up Child of Prague tote bags, postcards and more, all designed by Ash Maguire who’s been running the cafe with Rebekah Wall since 2019. Christy even features on Madden’s coffee cups – if you zoom in you’ll see he’s holding a teeny coffee of his own:

Maddens open Monday – Saturday 10-4 and are located on Milk Market Lane in Tralee. Definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the Kingdom.

Header image via Instagram/maddenstralee

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