Men’s Shed new appeal as exit deadline looms

Men’s Shed new appeal as deadline looms

The Chairperson of Dundalk Men’s Shed has said the group will “gratefully accept” any donations after it was told they will have to move out of their current premises within weeks.

Dundalk Men’s Shed Chairperson Peter O’Neill told the Dundalk Leader that the news came as a “wee bit of a shock”.

“We have been going for ten or 11 years here. The men enjoy it a lot as we have many different activities,” he said.

“For example, the men’s choir is very active and we have woodwork, arts and crafts and even Tai Chi.”

The men in Dundalk Men’s Shed found out last year that they would have to move out of their premises in Seatown which they have called home for over a decade. Saint John of God, owns the property and plans to refurbish the building to expand its day service. The news was given to the Men’s Shed just under a year ago with an extension to the lease granted to Alone Ireland which allowed the Shed to remain for a few months longer at their Seatown base. However, there will be no more extensions granted and St John of God will take over the building in March.

The shed is one of many around the country that allow men to meet up, socialize and engage in a range of activities including woodwork, games, exercise and song. The sixty or so members have helped create a very welcoming environment and have contributed regularly to local projects which enhance our town including making benches for local establishments as well as a fence which protected the Christmas Tree at the square throughout the festive period. The men’s choir have been a welcome addition also with the men singing Christmas Carols around the town each year since they formed a number of years ago.

Their base in Seatown has evolved over the last decade and now includes a work-room, kitchen, garden, vegetable patch and poly tunnel. Dundalk Men’s Shed currently has approximately 60 to 70 members and the prospect of having to close down the shed for good is obviously a very real worry with the March deadline quickly approaching.

According to Peter they have a site in Muirhevnamor which could potentially give them an option of a new home, but a lot of money would need to be raised before that dream turns into a reality.

“We have a site in Muirhevanmor that we were given by the council if we could make any use of it.

“We now have to raise funds for a new building and hopefully we will get a lot of support from the local community.
“We will take small steps for now and see how we get on. The members are waiting for a move but currently we have no premises that we could use temporarily.”

He continued: “It’s early days yet but Dundalk Men’s Shed is essential for this age group. It gives people purpose and meaning.”

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