Published 14 January 2019
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has today (Monday 14 January) confirmed that 323 Men’s Sheds have been approved to receive funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development.
In July 2018, Minister Ring announced the allocation of €500,000 under the Men’s Sheds stream of the Community Enhancement Programme. This will enable individual Men’s Sheds to upgrade their facilities by purchasing equipment or by carrying out minor works to improve their shed. The initiative was developed in association with the Irish Men’s Sheds Association.
Following the allocation of the funding to each Local Authority area last July, applications were then overseen by Local Community Development Committees around the country. Following this process, Minister Ring can now confirm that funding has been allocated to 323 Men’s Sheds across every county in Ireland.
Some examples of how Men’s Sheds around the country have benefitted from the funding:
- Ballina Men’s Shed in Mayo has been allocated funding to acquire a band-saw for their carpentry workshop, which will enable them to take on bigger projects.
- LiffordMen’s Shed in Donegal will use the money to buy tools and materials in order to replace the roof on their Shed.
- Passage West Men’s Shed in Cork is using the funding to purchase three new laptops, which will form the backbone of an ambitious new computer course, aimed at members of local sheds who lack digital literacy skills.
- Blackrock Community Men’s Shed, Dublin, is using their share of the Fund to build a meeting room, which is currently under construction.
QUOTES FROM SHED MEMBERS ARE FEATURED BELOW
Speaking in relation to today’s announcement, Minister Ring said: “I’m delighted that 323 Men’s Sheds across the country have been allocated funding. This will help them to improve their premises or add to the range of equipment they have.
“It’s really heartening to hear what the individual Sheds are doing with the money and it shows that modest investments in good community organisations can go a long way. The emergence of the Men’s Sheds in recent years has been an extremely positive development for communities across Ireland and I’m delighted to be able to support the Sheds in these early stages.
“Their members possess great experience and know-how and they make a massive contribution to their local communities. They provide invaluable support to important local initiatives such as Tidy Towns groups, local festivals and important charity events.
“I would like to thank the Irish Men’s Shed Association for working with me on this initiative and making it such a success. Men’s sheds are a great initiative and I’m happy to help in this way. I want to also thank everyone involved in Men’s Sheds across the country.”
Barry Sheridan, CEO of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (ISMA) welcomed the funding stating: “The IMSA is extremely heartened by the take-up and response to the Men’s Shed Fund amongst our member sheds. We were delighted to be able to work with the Department of Rural and Community Development to bring this fund to fruition, and I know that the support of Minister Ring and his Department means a lot to our members.
“The projects and improvements facilitated by this funding are going to have an immense impact on individual Sheds and their communities. But beyond the funding itself, the Department’s support is also a signal that the social benefits of Men’s Sheds are being recognised, acknowledged and fostered at governmental level.”
A full list of projects supported under this fund is available at the below link:
SEE QUOTES FROM MEN’S SHED MEMBERS ABOUT HOW THEY ARE PUTTING THE FUNDING TO USE:
For Ballina Men’s Shed, Co. Mayo, the Men’s Shed Fund has enabled the acquisition of a bandsaw for their carpentry workshop. Shed Secretary, Seamie Rice says: “This is a game-changer for us. It’s a big piece of kit and it’s going to completely revolutionise the types of projects we can carry out. It’ll take our workshop to the next level.”
Meanwhile, in Donegal, Lifford Men’s Shed is putting the monies to equally good use: “We’re using the money to replace the roof on the shed”, says committee member, Joe Rock. “We’ve acquired the materials and the tools to do it, and we’re delighted and grateful for the opportunity.”
Frank Clarke of Passage West Men’s Shed in West Cork also welcomed the advent of the fund monies: “What I’m hearing from a lot of sheds in Cork is that it’s taken the pressure off, it’s allowed them to pursue that project or that bit of infrastructure or repair that they never had the resources for.”
For their own part, the Passage West men are using their Men’s Shed Fund allocation to purchase three new laptops which will form the backbone of an ambitious new computer course, aimed at members of local sheds who lack digital literacy skills.
Blackrock Community Men’s Shed, Co. Dublin, are using their share of the Fund to build a meeting room in their community garden, currently under construction in a project involving the shed, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council and other community groups.
Allan Kilpatrick, founding member of Blackrock Community Men’s Shed, says that the meeting room will help deepen the shed’s roots in its community.
Notes to Editors:
- For details on the men’s sheds located in your area, please visit the website of the Irish Men’s Shed Association (www.menssheds.ie).
- This funding for capital equipment or improvements in men’s sheds was put in place following discussions between the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association.
- There are approximately 350 men’s sheds in Ireland, with a total of 400 across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
- This €500,000 is in addition to the €12.5m funding for the Community Enhancement Programme.