East Cork Journal 10-Dec-2018

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 has 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
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton

East Cork Journal 02-Dec-2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News.

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 traveled 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.
After the slums of Calcutta, the group then undertook the challenge of a charity walk in the foothills of the Himalayas.  They traveled 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 worthy 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

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
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton

East Cork Journal 26-Nov-2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News.

The dangers of working on your own.

We should all take account of situations where we work alone.  This is more important for retirees; cutting the lawn in sandals, using workshop equipment which may be as old as themselves – never serviced, carrying out electrical repairs, chopping firewood, etc. etc., no supervisor to enforce rules & safety measures, so what do we do?  Do we take a risk?  No-one is watching!

You take a chance and the chances are you’ll lose!!

We need to think about what we are going to do.  What could go wrong?  What can be done to prevent injuries?  Is help or advice needed?  If something goes wrong while we are alone and you cannot call anyone, does anyone know where we are?

We should never work alone if possible, and if that’s not possible, we must tell someone where we will be working, what time we expect to return, give them our phone number, and if we change location, let them know.

With our Men’s Shed we do everything with a minimum of two people, no matter what the circumstances.  There is safety in numbers.

Most farmers are ‘work-alone workers’, carrying out many hazardous tasks, and the work has to be done. Working long hours in various parts of the farm, feeding/dosing cattle, using heavy machinery, cutting up fallen trees, etc. etc.  A serious injury to the farmer means the farm comes to a virtual standstill.  It’s a hazardous occupation and the farmer must work responsibly.

There is plenty of help available for farmers; Teagasc, HSA newsletters, Farmers Journal, safety circulars for various operations, but action is required to stay safe.

The same assistance is available for retired people.  We can download a lot of useful information from the internet, and if we are not computer literate (many of us) we can just ask a friend or relation who can do this for us. That is why being a member of the local shed, (being a shedder), will give your loved ones peace of mind.  
At the shed, we share ideas, our issues, health & wellbeing, we talk about life, politics, family, and how best to do things as we grow older; it’s teamwork.

Look what the Irish Rugby team achieved recently against the number one team in the world through absolute teamwork. 

We have worked hard to get this far in our lives, now we deserve a good quality of life, we are not children any more.  We need to remain injury-free, relax, be safe.

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] 
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton

Credit to East Cork Journal

East Cork Journal 19-Nov-2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News

Try a little kindness
As I sat down to write this report, a news article on the radio was reporting that today is World Kindness day.  This got me thinking that while it’s a good thing that we have a World Kindness Day, realistically everyday should be kindness day.  There are plenty of little sayings like ‘It’s nice to be nice’, or ‘It costs nothing to be nice’ and these are all very true, however I believe that in addition to not costing anything, there is a kindness dividend too. Every time we do something nice or kind for someone we know, or even someone we don’t know, we feel better about it too.  So can I suggest to you all that you actively carry out a ‘Random act of kindness’ for someone every day as you go about your business. If it’s only to hold a door open for someone as they pass through or pick up something that someone else has dropped, just do it. You’ll both feel better.

Dam Easy Flood Barriers
A few months back it was well reported locally that our Men’s Shed was giving something back to the community by installing ‘Dam Easy’ flood barriers at houses in the Midleton area that are particularly susceptible to flooding.  The recipients were delighted and hugely relieved to get these quick, easy to install devices to protect their homes from future flooding. The good news is we hope to be in a position to present and install another small batch of these barriers in the coming weeks, to other flood-prone households that meet the qualifying criteria.  As soon as we have definite dates for the arrival of the flood barriers we will make it known here and on our facebook and twitter pages. 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] 
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton

East Cork Journal 12-Nov-2018

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News

We are delighted to be working with the Aghada Centre Theatre Group to make some of the stage props for their upcoming musical called Nanny Poppins. The group have already started rehearsals and plan to raise the curtains in Spring 2019.
We have already made some of the smaller props for the show and are also assisting with the transfer of other props from a theatre group in Thurles – who recently finished a run of this same show – and re-assembling these in Aghada. 

Get Winter-Ready
We saw the weather take a turn for the worse over the weekend, and this is a timely reminder that we all have a responsibility not only to look after our own bodily and mental wellbeing but also that of our neighbours around us in the community.  In recent days the government launched its Winter Ready programme, and they have assembled a good amount of very useful information that is available on their website   

Simple things you can do.
* Have important contact numbers such as doctor, Gardaí, etc. where they are quickly and easily accessible
* Have a flashlight (with a charged battery) in an easily accessible location
* Have your Eircode in an easily accessible location
* Know how to turn off the electricity, gas and water in your home

Flu Vaccine
In the Men’s Shed article here last week, the importance for men to get checked for prostate cancer was emphasised.  This week we are also promoting getting the flu vaccination, and not just for men.
* Flu causes death and hospitalisation every year
* You need to get the Flu Vaccine every year as the virus changes every year
* The Flu vaccine contains killed viruses, so it cannot give you the flu
* Healthy people can have flu without any obvious symptoms and unknowingly pass it on.
More information is available on

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]  or by phone on 087-7677866

Another little update

For almost a year now, thanks to the generosity of the people at The East Cork Journal, we have been lucky enough to have a news article in their weekly publication. Some have been updates on what has been happening in the men’s shed and we are delighted with the progress we’ve been making. Some articles have been information we considered to be suitable and useful for our men and the general public.

We have had a few enquiries from people recently about some of the old articles, so over the coming weeks, we will add the old articles to the website so you can have a look back over them if you wish.

It’s been a while

We haven't issued an update here for a while now, however, we haven't gone away.  During that time we've been settling into our temporary accommodation in Carrig, and it's working out great for us.  It's such a pity that we don't have this facility in Midleton.

During the summer the gardeners among us did super work, and we've all been enjoying scrumptious potatoes, peas and many other goodies fresh from the shed vegetable plot.

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses who supported our fundraising letters we have been able to buy some tools for the workspace, and many of our members have been working on individual projects including making a house number from a piece of driftwood to refurbishing furniture to making a barn owl box and many other bits and pieces.  We are also thankful to Musgraves who have been very good to us with a great donation of biscuits to go with our teas and coffees, these are all very very much appreciated.

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:
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton

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:
We are also on social media as follows:
Twitter: @MensMidleton