The good news about us securing a site in Midleton for our Men’s Shed is really spreading. After getting a brief column in the Irish Examiner last week, yesterday Seán O’Riordan did a super write-up about our situation in ‘TheCounty’ supplement of the same publication. We are delighted to get this publicity and indebted to this excellent newspaper for sharing our story. Thanks a million! As previously mentioned we are also indebted to MyPlace in Midleton for giving us the use of the site.
We broke new ground yesterday afternoon (metaphorically speaking) when we had our first (and hopefully not last) socially distanced sing-song in the open air at our Men’s Shed in Carrigtwohill. (I know, Midleton Men’s shed in Carrigtwohill? That’s another story. ) As it was our first attempt at something like this, I was tentative and hopeful that it would be successful, and I’m delighted to say that it was a great success. To allow for the social distancing, we decided to sing outdoors in the lovely courtyard adjoining the shed, and luckily the weather remained favourable throughout. We did get one or two drops of rain at one stage, however nothing that would stop us from singing once we got started. We had some lovely songs and music for about an hour and a half. I heard lovely songs that I’d never heard before and old favourites that are sung regularly at sessions all over the country and beyond. We had one or two shy men also, and we’re hoping we might encourage them to sing with us the next time around. We might also encourage some of our other members who weren’t present yesterday to join us and sing or just have a listen.
Anyway, a successful afternoon, and I believe everyone present enjoyed the music and the banter. We even got some homework, we all have to have at least one song that we didn’t sing yesterday!! So until the next one………
The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the global population with a sledgehammer blow that no-one foresaw or could have foreseen. Overnight our lives were changed utterly, and in mid-march 2020 we underwent a ‘lockdown’. Overnight, our shed was closed indefinitely, and in an effort to stay connected – like the rest of the world – we resorted to virtual meetings using our computers and our phones. Not everyone has been able to join using these computer/phone meetings so had phone conversations in an effort to stay in touch. It has been a difficult few months, however, the good news is that we have re-opened our doors (in a limited fashion and observing the HSE and IMSA guidelines on social distancing, coughing etiquette and hand sanitising) again. For the coming weeks until things stabilise further we will open on Tuesdays and Fridays only. Our workshop will remain closed until further notice, however it may be possible to work on some projects in the open air during this time if we can do it while meeting the social distancing requirements.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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
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
Our Men’s Shed group meets
weekly at 11.30 on Friday mornings in the Edmond Rice Centre, and we welcome
If you would like more information you can contact us using any of the
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:
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Save yourself a
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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:
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.
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