Temporary Workshop Space in Carrigtwohill

We all know the world presents its challenges.  However, there’s good news out there too, if you look hard enough for it.  Apart from the lengthening evenings and (slightly) rising temperatures, we have received a share of good news for our Shed in the past week.  In the first instance, the number of members of the shed is increasing (although there is always room for more).  The variety of community activities in which we are involved is also increasing (although, again, we are always open to suggestions for us to get involved with other community activities).

Several of our Men’s Shed members attended the Nanny PopPpins show in the Aghada Community Centre on Saturday night, April 6th.  The show was spectacular, and our Men’s Shed are very proud to be associated with the show, even though the part we played (in assisting with the set & stage props) was modest by comparison to the scale of the entire production.  It was great fun and we would love to be involved with future productions.

As mentioned previously, we have commenced our classes in conversational Irish.  Some of the members are already fluent Irish speakers, which is a great help.  One of the shedders, Colm Ó’Catháin, is a former Irish school teacher and is facilitating the classes.  Our aim is to use a little Irish when we can, but not having Irish will not act as a barrier to existing or new members.  Nothing too serious, but you’d be amazed how quickly the “cúpla focal” would come back to you.

Finally, on the good news front, we have found a temporary home for our workshop.  We are very grateful to Father Bermingham in the Parish of Carrigtwohill who has made some disused stables available to us for the next 6 months or so.  At present we are assisting with clearing out the building & making it habitable.  We plan to ‘move in’ in the very near future.  This is a short-term measure only, as our real aim is to have our workshop/shed within walking distance of Midleton town centre.

It might appear odd that we are going to Carrigtwohill for a workshop.  However, despite our continuing best efforts to secure suitable premises in Midleton, and notwithstanding the very large amount of vacant property in the Midleton area, we have not been successful, yet.  We repeat our call for any relevant landlords in the Midleton area to consider having the Midleton Men’s Shed as tenant.  We are looking for 1,500 square feet of space, or a greenfield site on which to build our own premises.  We simply must be based in the heart of Midleton.

Our fund-raising efforts are going well.  We have had a good number of very generous donations from local businesses, to whom we wrote seeking support for which we are truly grateful.  We remind those who have received a letter, or those who did not, to consider making a donation if you have not already done so – our details are included below.  The funds will be used wisely for the shed & tools, when that emerges in the near future.  In the meantime, having a workshop space, albeit in Carrigtwohill for the moment, is great for us as It gives us a space to work on our short-term projects which we hope will in turn benefit the people of Midleton and further afield.

As we are fully committed to being based in Midleton, we will continue to hold our weekly meetings in the Edmond Rice Centre on Rosary Place on Friday mornings at 11 o’clock, until we secure our long-term solution of having our workshop based in Midleton.

Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.00 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome new members.
If you would like more information you can contact us using any of the following methods:

Shed phone number: 083-4019739
email: [email protected]
or have a look at our website: www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MIdletonMensShed2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News 14-Mar-2019

Isn’t there a grand stretch in the evenings all the same?

It has been another busy week for our shedders.  On Friday last we had a good discussion on progress or lack of progress in our search for a new shed.
We are in Fund-raising mode at the moment, and at present we are writing to businesses in the Midleton area requesting financial support.  Our members have been out and about in the area delivering our letters and thanks a million to them all for getting the job done and keeping our postal costs to the minimum. Thanks a million also to those who have responded positively already, and we hope more businesses will support us in the near future so that we can get involved in more community work around the area. The first batch of these letters were distributed this week, and we will have another batch being distributed in the coming week.  If you have a business that we have missed and wish to make a financial donation to Midleton Men’s Shed be it big or small, please contact us on any of the methods outlined at the end of this article and we will reply to you as quick as we can.

Thank you also for your continued support of us in the ‘Tesco Blue Tokens Scheme’ we’re delighted with the progress to date, but the scheme runs for eight weeks, so we need your blue tokens every time you shop in Tesco Midleton.

On Saturday night last, a group of our ‘night hawk’ members headed to Healy’s Bar in Rostellan to join with the Aghada Centre Theatre Group for a few pints and a sing song. Fair play to the Aghada gang, they had been rehearsing all day, but still managed to give renditions of several songs from their upcoming show Nanny PopPpins. I am reliably informed that someone sang a song about the amorous intentions of a short-sighted armadillo towards a concertina which was one of the highlights of the evening.  As they say, a great night had by all.  Liam, you have the patience of a saint, volunteering for driving duties on this occasion.

It was back to work in Aghada again on Tuesday Morning for the shedders.  With dress rehearsals now taking place at the weekends for Nanny PopPpins, we’re at the stage of putting the final finishing touches to the stage props, and we plan to be finished by next week.

We have been in contact with Conradh na Gaeilge regarding getting our conversational Irish classes up and running and we’ll let you know here when we have a start date.

If you have any queries about our Men’s Shed group, or suggestions for projects that we might be able to assist with please contact us on any of the methods below. Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome new members.
If you would like more information you can contact us using any of the following methods:
Shed phone number: 083-4019739
email: [email protected]
or have a look at our website: www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MIdletonMensShed2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News 07-Mar-2019

For the past several weeks we have been working hard on the stage props for Aghada Centre Theatre Group’s upcoming show, Nanny PopPpins.  There was quite a lot of work involved, from adapting some of the props to suit the size of the stage in Aghada Community Centre to making up some of the props from scratch.  It was a challenging and a rewarding experience, and we made lots of new friends; people who are volunteering serious amounts of time to get this show ready for the end of March. We’re getting close to the end of this project now and have gained a great insight into the workings behind the scenes, and more importantly the huge effort it takes to bring a show like this to fruition.  We are all looking forward to seeing the show, and have our tickets secured already.  If you want to get, they’re available online from https://www.gr8events.ie/aghadatheatre be quick though, they’re selling like hotcakes.

Our search for a shed continues. At present we are investigating a number of possibilities both for a short-term solution, and for a permanent home.  Hopefully we will have more news to report on this in the coming weeks, but if you can offer us any assistance in this regard, please contact us using any of the methods outlined below.

We will take delivery of another delivery of Dam Easy Flood doors in the next few weeks. If your home is in danger of flooding and you don’t have the means to purchase this flood protection, we may be able to assist you.  Please contact us using any of the methods outlined below to find out if you qualify.

We are aware that not everyone uses social media and email etc, so we have purchased a ‘shed phone’.  Our ‘shed phone’ number is 083-4019739.  If you have any questions or want to contact us regarding any shed related matter, please phone and leave a message including your number or text us.  We may not always answer immediately, but we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

We are planning to commence Conversational Irish Classes for our members in the coming weeks, and we hope to be able to make this available to non-members also.  Once we have finalised the details, we will share it here, and on our website/social media etc., but if you are interested let us know, and we can include you on the list.

Another project we plan to get involved with in the next few weeks is to commence regular trips to local beaches to conduct beach clean-ups.  We plan to start with Inch Beach and see how it goes from there.  We are very thankful to Cork County Council and Clean Coasts Ballynamona for their assistance with this endeavour Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome new members.
If you would like more information you can contact us using any of the following methods:
Shed phone number: 083-4019739
email: [email protected]
or have a look at our website: www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MIdletonMensShed2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News, February 10th 2019

As we men approach the ‘silver’ or even the ‘golden’ years of 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond, it’s a great opportunity for us to take stock of our wellbeing and start living life at our own pace again. With the stresses of home and family life hopefully beginning to ease somewhat, now is a great time to shake off any bad lifestyle habits you may have picked up along the way and to ensure that you can continue living happily, healthily and independently for many years to come.

By taking control of our health as we get on in years, we can keep at bay some of the illnesses and conditions that become more common in our 50s, 60s and 70s.  It is so important to stay active, eat a healthy and balanced diet, keep our drinking under control and stay in regular contact with our GP.  Taking these simple and positive steps will reduce our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, arthritis and more.

Positive steps for taking care of our health

  1. Only thirty minutes of moderate physical activity per day, for 5 days of the week can help to keep our bodies trim, fit and healthy.  A brisk walk, a swim or a bicycle ride are all simple ways to do this. It’s never too late to start, and it’s fine to work at your own pace.  It’s not a competition.
  2. We should stay sharp and alert by challenging our brains; learning new things, reading books, taking up new hobbies, or just doing crossword or sudoku puzzles, and staying in touch with people whose company we enjoy.  Banter is brilliant!
  3. We all need to stay connected with friends and family members. We must not allow ourselves to become isolated. Many older men find men’s sheds the ideal place to make new friends, pass on skills and fill their days with laughter and good company.
  4. We all need to schedule regular appointments with our GP. This will allow us to have certainty regarding our health, as well as to review any conditions we may have developed and any medications and vaccinations we might require.
  5. Many of us enjoy a drink or two, and the camaraderie and the craic in the pub is almost part of our heritage it seems, but it’s important that if we drink, that we do so moderately, and allow three alcohol-free days every week.
  6. The importance of sleep cannot be over emphasised.  It is vitally important that we all get enough sleep.  Sleeping patterns can often change as we get older, but good sleep is vital for good health, and that’s not just for us older guys, that’s for everyone.

Don’t forget, our local pharmacists are also healthcare professionals, and in many cases can assist us very quickly with many of our health concerns.  They can offer information about treatments, explanations on medications as well as a range of services such as flu vaccinations etc.

Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome new members.
If you would like more information you can contact us by email at:[email protected]
or have a look at our website: www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidletonMensShed2018

What to have in your Winter Driving Safety Kit

As we have seen in the last week, at this time of the year the weather can turn cold very quickly, and even though we’re seeing a ‘stretch in the evenings’, it will be prudent and sensible to be prepared in advance of another ‘Beast from the East or similar, and ensure that you and your car are winter-ready. As the old saying goes ‘if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail’.
But what exactly should you stock in your car’s winter driving kit? We may not be able to predict the weather, but our checklist below should take the guesswork out of staying safe on the roads this winter.

Ice, Ice, Maybe

Ice on the roads & ice on the windscreen is most likely to be a factor early in the mornings, for this reason we recommend keeping an ice scraper and some de-icer in your car & drive to the conditions.

Save yourself a winter breakdown

Keep your Insurance cover info in your vehicle, or/member card handy. Ensure mobile phone is always charged up before trip. Keep hi-vis clothing, a torch and an emergency warning triangle in your car so that you can make yourself more visible to passing traffic if you must step out from your car.

Maybe its cold outside

For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep some warm clothes and potentially even a blanket/sleeping bag, in your car so that you can stay warm while waiting for roadside rescue team.

Food for thought

No-one likes being cold and/or hungry, so as silly as it may seem it can be a good idea to have some food in your winter emergency kit (we recommend something with a long-shelf life like a cereal bar along with a bottle or two of water to help keep you or your car hydrated depending on the circumstances. This is particularly important if you have a pre-existing medical condition which could be worsened by any significant length of time without food. We would also encourage motorists to keep a small amount of any medication that you need to take at regular intervals in the car, so that you are not left without if you find yourself stuck in your vehicle.

Fingers crossed you’ll never need to use your car’s winter safety kit, but it’s always a good idea to have one ready for the worst case scenario. While the above essentials are likely to be the most important items to include, if you still have room in your boot a small fire extinguisher, spare light bulbs, and even a first-aid kit could also be useful during the winter months. For the sake of 10 minutes and a small amount of cash, your winter kit could prove to be a life-saver.

                                           PREPARATION NOT REPARATION

Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome new members.
If you would like more information you can contact us by email at: [email protected]
or have a look at our website: www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidletonMensShed2018

Busy Week for Midleton Shedders

Day trip to Cork
On Friday January 18th a delegation from Midleton Men’s Shed attended a very important event at the Metropole Hotel in Cork City.  Towards the end of 2018 the Irish Men’s Shed Association were awarded the European Citizen’s Prize.  Since 2008, the European Parliament awards the European Citizen’s Prize every year to projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation or promote mutual understanding within the EU.  Previous Irish winners include the GAA in 2013 and CoderDojo in 2017.

The Men’s Shed Association was nominated for the prize by Sean Kelly MEP and Deirdre Clune MEP both of whom were in attendance.
Mr. Kelly spoke about how delighted he was to Nominate the Men’s Shed movement and how doubly delighted he was that they won the prize.
Ms. Clune also expressed her delight that the Men’s Shed movement had won this prestigious prize, and praised in the highest terms the excellent work being done in facilitating over 400 sheds across the country to get up and running.  She also expressed her hopes that funding from the Government and from Europe could be secured for individual sheds and for the National association.
Mr. Barry Sheridan, CEO of the Irish Men’s Shed Association also spoke briefly, outlining the strong growth of the Men’s Shed movement in Ireland; In 2018 alone, more than 60 new sheds were established, an average of more than one every week.
The award was then presented to Mr. Sheridan by Mr. Kelly and Ms. Clune and that concluded the formalities of the event.

We were then entertained by the choirs from the Men’s Sheds from Carrigaline and Mayfield who were in great voice and we were all encouraged to join in the singing in the spirit of involvement that is key to the Men’s Shed ethos.
At this point, having worked up a thirst from listening and singing, refreshments were served and the shedders did some of the things they do best, chatted, drank tea and had the craic.

Launch Evening at Aghada Centre Theatre Group
Later the same evening some members attended the official launch of the Theatre Group’s 2019 musical, Nanny Poppins.  Our Men’s Shed Group are hugely grateful to be one of the beneficiaries from the show, and our Chairman was called upon to say a few words.  In related big news, one of our members has been auditioned and accepted and will make his stage debut in the show March.  We are very excited for him and we are sure he will be a huge asset to the group and the show.  More about this in the coming weeks.

Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome new members.
If you would like more information you can contact us by email at:[email protected]
or have a look at our website: www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidletonMensShed2018

Remembering Pierce Smyth, Midleton Men’s Shed member

It was with great sadness, that after a long, hard-fought battle with his illness, that Pierce, better known to many of us as ‘The Perce’ and by his grand-children as Pe Pe, recently passed away.

Pierce was a gentleman, kind, caring, soft, outgoing, and polite. His smile would light up a room.  He was a quiet man, and just loved being around people. He was extremely determined in everything he did, from sport, to how he battled his illness to the very end. He never gave up, and even in his final hours he fought his hardest battle with extraordinary bravery, dignity and strength.

Pierce was a loving husband to Eileen, father to Damien, David & Robert, grandad, and a true friend.

Pierce was very outgoing and loved to be sociable, and the sporting highlights of his week would be, Midleton Rugby, cards at O’Meara’s and even a game of snap with his grand-kids! Pierce liked to win at them all.

He loved going to the Men’s Shed, where he was an active member for many years, and was responsible for dragging me into joining.  Even if it was just for a coffee and a chat and the odd biscuit, he’d be there!

Pierce would be first there too, and as soon as we would arrive, he’d ask if we wanted a cuppa & a cookie, if there were any left! He did like his food!

On any other day, he’d head into town and meet up with his brother Ivor, who was always there for him, and happy to head to where they thought had the best toasted special or coffee.

Pierce worked as a salesman for Hanover for over 30 years and until he retired, and his red van was a big feature in his family and sporting life; it was regularly seen at all the rugby matches country wide, sometimes serving as taxi, and changing room, and Pierce would be there, coaching his three sons before a game, the only things missing were a toilet & fireplace.

The Perce had a really competitive spirit. We knew him whilst playing at Midleton College and thereafter for Midleton Rugby Club and anyone who experienced his tackling – round the ankles – knew they had been tackled, a skill he passed this onto his sons. A great pair of hands too.

It’s hard to believe that Pierce has passed on from us. He is now at peace.

                     Midleton Shedders will miss him.

Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome new members.
If you would like more information you can contact us by email at: [email protected]
or have a look at our website: www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidletonMensShed2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News

First post of 2019

Christmas Time……

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News

We appear to be well and truly into the midst of the Christmas season now, and with less than two weeks to go until Christmas Day, it’s very easy to get caught up in the hype and commercialism that seems to begin earlier, and grow in intensity every year.  I know that I definitely saw Christmas trees displayed in one of the large shops in Cork City as early as last August, and the towers of chocolates and biscuits were in many supermarkets from the first of November.
In the midst of all this hype and commercialism it is very easy to forget that Christmas is not a time of joy for everyone.  Some may have lost a loved one around this time of year and for them it’s a time of loss and sadness, and they can see little to celebrate.  Likewise, some people simply don’t have someone with whom to share the joys of the Christmas season, so for them the giving and receiving are not-existent and the loneliness is increased.
So what can we do?  Well, we can all check in on a neighbour or friend whom we know to be alone or having a tough time around Christmas.  Invite them out for a coffee or a pint, or just phone them for a chat.  Such a small thought from us can mean a huge amount for a friend or neighbour.

Exciting times.
As one of the very few ‘shedless’ Men’s Shed groups in Ireland, we are very excited and delighted that we are making some good progress on finally getting a shed for ourselves.  Obviously, the cornerstone of and Men’s Shed group has to be the shed, and while we’re delighted to have the use of the facilities at the Edmond Rice Centre every Friday for our meet-ups, it’s just not a shed!  We are absolutely delighted that Midleton Parish have given us the use of a site, and we are now proceeding with getting drawings finalised and working on getting planning permission.  While all of this is happening, our main task over the coming months will be fund-raising.  This is a huge job of work for our small group, and we hope the people and businesses from Midleton and surrounding areas will support us so we can support the community with more endeavours such as the Dam Easy floodgates we installed recently in several houses around the town.

Anti-Social Behaviour.
At our last meeting we have a very good and wide-ranging discussion about Anti-Social Behaviour in the area.  It is disgraceful that elderly and infirm members of the community who are not in a position to defend themselves are preyed upon by young and not-so-young locals who appear to think nothing of banging on doors and windows of other people’s homes in the dead of night, and scaring the occupants out of their wits.  In an effort to get a better understanding of this outrageous scourge on vulnerable people in the locality we have decided to ask the community garda to come to one of our meetings in the near future to discuss this worrying topic, and to explain if there is anything we as a group can do to help.

Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre.  We welcome new members, and if you would like more information you can contact us by email at [email protected] 
Our new website is www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidletonMensShed2018

Our Man in Calcutta

Midleton Men’s Shed chairman Niall Coffey recently took on a significant challenge; he went on a sixteen-day volunteering visit to West Bengal in India.  After fundraising for the trip over the previous several months, Niall travelled with the Hope Foundation who support the street children of Calcutta through education and medical assistance.
During the first days of the trip which was made up mostly of volunteer work, Niall and the group spent time in the schools and crèches located in the slums of the city.  These children are taken from harrowing situations and given a lifeline through education.  Children are taken in from infanthood upwards, and supported right up to when they are seventeen-year-olds, and even after that are assisted with finding work to maintain themselves.  Niall found the poverty these children are forced to survive in before they are rescued to be particularly difficult to stomach, but then on the flip-side, seeing young men and women, supported by the Hope Foundation from early childhood, finishing their education and finding work to live independently was hugely uplifting.

Niall with the Himalayas in the background


After the slums of Calcutta, the group then undertook the challenge of a charity walk in the foothills of the Himalayas.  They travelled to Sikkam province in Northern India, and spent five days walking daily distances of up to eighteen kilometres at altitudes of seven thousand feet. Niall said the scenery was breath-taking, but the distances walked at that altitude were challenging.
Upon returning to Calcutta, Niall spent time on one of the Night Ambulances run by the Hope Foundation, where he experienced more harrowing scenes of abject poverty and deprivation.  He also however saw more of the fantastic work carried out by the Hope.  The Hope Foundation also has a fully-functioning hospital where Niall met with both fulltime Indian Doctors and volunteer doctors from Europe the US and many other parts of the world who were volunteering their time and expertise to this very worth cause.
Niall’s highlight from the trip was seeing the fantastic work carried out by the Hope Foundation.
The lowlight: The mosquitoes.
More information on the great work done by the Hope Foundation can be found on www.hopefoundation.ie

Our Men’s Shed group meets weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre.  We welcome new members, and if you would like more information you can contact us by email at [email protected] 
Our new website is up and running at www.midletonmensshed.com
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MidletonMensShed2018