Cairde is in the business of changing lives

Cairde Enterprise is hosting an open day on December 5.

A LIMERICK organisation, which offers a chance to make a fresh start for people who have had a brush with the law, are looking for skilled carpenters and woodwork crafts people and teachers who can help out.

Cairde Enterprise, based in the Docklands Business Park on the Dock Road in Limerick City, is a social enterprise that make crafted woodwork products, including garden and street furniture, bespoke  and up-cycled pieces, corporate and club plaques, keyrings, and gifts.

The company has been in business for just under three years and Fergal O’Farrell, social enterprise manager, told the Limerick Post about how they operate.

“We’re the trading arm of Palls Ltd, an education and training centre which provides individual support for purposeful change for people involved with the probation service and the criminal justice system,” Mr O’Farrell said.

“A lot of people we engage with haven’t had any experience of working nine to five. They come to us and get training and work experience, experience of what it is to have the discipline of getting up and going to work.”

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Trainees at Cairde have all, in some way, had interaction with the criminal justice system. Some have served prison sentences, others may be fulfilling a community service order or simply trying to start again after making a bad decision that brought them into contact with the law.

Cairde says it trades commercially to change lives and they want to encourage people to make a difference with the money they’re spending, particularly on a local level.

The organisation’s explains “Our goal is to prepare people for progressing into mainstream employment and to positively help change the attitudes of potential employers and communities towards ex-offenders who want and are trying to turn their lives around”.

Cairde deals with between 10 and 12 people at a time, some of whom may want to go on to a full apprenticeship in carpentry, while others have found work from the grounding they received in the workshop.

The premises boasts an impressive range of woodworking machinery, but it now needs input from people who help train the students.

Cairde is planning an open day on December 5 and have invited anyone interested in the service to attend.

Anyone who feels they have skills to pass on and help give someone a second chance can contact Cairde by email on, by phone on 085 860 7455, or by dropping into the company’s headquarters on the Dock Road.