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

Midleton Men’s Shed Weekly News

East Cork Journal Weekly News 29-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

International Men’s Day 2018

On Monday November 19th, International Men's Day was celebrated around the world... apparently,  I came across it almost by accident on social media,and I only heard a single mention of it in the mainstream media, from a guest on Brendan O'Connor's television programme on Wednesday November 21st, two days after the event.

The objectives of International Men's Day are as follows:

  • To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sports men but every day, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  • To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  • To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  • To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law
  • To improve gender relations and promote gender equality
  • To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

I have to say I've never heard of International Men's Day before this week, but as a member of Midleton Men's Shed, I see a lot of commonality between the aims of our shed and the objectives above, and the absolute importance of celebrating this day.

I will be discussing this with my fellow shedders at our next meeting to ensure we organise an event next year to celebrate this most important day.