Planning approval received for Midleton Men’s Shed adjacent to Community Centre off Bailick Road.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and adversity” – Martin Luther King Jr.
It could be said that there is never a good time to take on the challenge of building a new home, however Midleton Men’s Shed have taken on this very challenge, and in the middle of a pandemic.
Midleton Men’s Shed has been around in various formats since 2013. The group was rejuvenated in 2018 and having been limited to meeting for a couple of hours once a week in the Edmond Rice Centre in the town, the group had been searching for and working on having a place to call their own. In early 2019 the group were lucky – and very grateful Fr. Bill and Fr. Patrick – to be given the use of a rundown stables in Carrigtwohill as a temporary home. The group undertook the refurbishment of the stables into a kitchen/canteen and a workshop where they worked on community and personal projects. They still have the use of the use of the premises, however since the first lockdown in March 2020 they have only been able to make very limited use of it and during Level 5 lockdowns they have reluctantly stayed away.
Throughout all this time, it has been the hope and belief of the group that they would have a permanent home in Midleton, and in the background, the committee worked slowly and steadily towards this goal.
With the onset of Covid19, the committee knew very well that this would make things more challenging, and while the shed was forced to close for the safety of the members, regular zoom calls were initiated to keep the chats and the banter alive. The committee also used zoom to progress the plans to move permanently to Midleton, and their determination and hard work was rewarded in July 2020 with the news that MyPLace Midleton had agreed to make a site available adjacent to the community centre. This was a huge step forward for the group and reinforced the determination of the committee to bring the project to fruition. The committee and the group are hugely thankful to the board and management of MyPlace for their generosity and foresight in making this happen.
The next step on the journey was to secure planning permission. Once again, the committee worked tirelessly with suppliers and Myplace to pull together the drawings and plans necessary for the application process.
In mid-December then, just as the country was preparing for another bout of Level 5 restrictions, they were thrilled to receive the news that the planning application had been approved. To have made so much progress in this relatively short period is extraordinary, and Chairman Ger Cogan paid tribute to the committee who working with MyPlace had made it happen.
Of course, while this has been monumental progress the committee are under no allusions that their job is done. They are now in fundraising mode and are very thankful to East Cork Oil and to Irish Distillers Midleton for their very generous support of this project and for helping them on the road to achieving their permanent home in Midleton. They are also working with SECAD and Cork County Council to secure funding that will allow them to take the final steps on a journey that started eight years ago. Gerard Cogan said that they firmly believe that the end line is now in view, and pandemic or otherwise, they won’t stop until they get there.
Below is a picture giving an indication of the style of shed the group are planning to build:
Sean Hennessy, Secretary, Midleton Men’s Shed
email: [email protected]