Dundalk’s ‘shedders’ delighted to be back in operation

Dundalk Men’s Shed’s are up and running again after a three-month hiatus due to COVID19. The ‘Shed’ which is situated in Seatown has become a hub of camaraderie and activity since it opened its doors in 2011. Men’s sheds are non-profit local organisations that provide a space for craftwork and social interaction. The movement originated in Australia as a way to improve the health and wellbeing of older men and has proved to be hugely popular in Ireland with this country boasting most sheds per capita.
According to Gene Yore, secretary of the local Men’s Shed, a lot of hard work was put in by committee members to ensure the building in Seatown was safe for re-opening following the outbreak of COVID19.
“Of course the safety of our members is of the utmost important to us and we probably spent about four or five weeks getting the place ready for a safe re-opening. We worked alongside the Irish Men’s Sheds Association and followed all guidelines issued by the government and HSE to prepare for a safe return to action three weeks ago,” explained Gene.
“We have had hand sanitisers and new lighting installed as well as new seat and floor coverings and signs all over the building encouraging the washing of hands and adhering to social distancing rules. We don’t have a full complement back yet as some of the guys would have underlying conditions and would rather not risk coming back just yet but we have about fourteen or fifteen men back and it’s clear they are delighted to be back in the shed again.
“We managed to stay in touch throughout lockdown through zoom and whatsapp groups and that was very important to maintain that link,” states Gene. “But to actually get the place back up and running was very important as for many people Men’s Sheds is a big part of their lives. We are not fully open yet as for example our woodwork section is still closed but we are getting there gradually and it has gone really well so far since we re-opened at the start of July. We are delighted to be back but we are also acutely aware of our responsibilities and we have been adhering to all guidelines issued by the government and hse to the letter,” added Gene.

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