Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Killucan area Men’s Shed offers social outlet to locals

The men’s shed phenomenon began in Australia in the 1980s and arrived in Ireland in recent decades. There are almost 500 men’s sheds now in operation nationwide. Killucan Area’s Men Shed is one of the not-for-profit organisations available to the Killucan area and beyond, and all are welcome according to shed leader Gerry Deegan.

“Some men come in and all they want to do is have a cup of tea or a cup of coffee and a chat. That is absolutely perfectly fine. The kettle is always on. A lot of people will be in the workshop doing a bit of woodwork,” he told Topic.

The shed is “open to any man over the age of 18” according to Gerry. He said most members are retired but added that they also have younger members. Joe Bingham founded the men’s shed in Killucan but Gerry took over as leader in recent months after Joe became unwell. Gerry joined the men’s shed in Killucan after moving to the Downs from Athboy in August 2023.

The group opens on Tuesday and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm. Gerry explained that members can also go in at “any other time provided there’s two of them” and that people attend on Mondays and Wednesday “quite regularly”. Various activities are available to members and one of the most popular is woodturning under Gerry’s stewardship.

Gerry is an Irish WoodTurners guild member and said members make numerous items for people in the community including bird boxes, tables and chairs.

funding

There is no charge to become a member for the group which is funded by Westmeath County Council, the Credit Union and government grants. Donations are also accepted by the group.

Members come from Killucan, Rathwire, Kinnegad, Raharney, The Downs, Mullingar, and as far as Ardee. The group also organised trips out together and have visited Kilmainham Gaol, Columb Barracks and recently went on a Shannon boat trip. Killucan Area’s Men Shed is based in the lodge owned by St Camillus’ Nursing Home and Gerry thanked the order for the facility.

“They’re very good to us, letting us use the property. They don’t charge us anything for it,” he said.

Gerry said the men’s shed is “great for the mental health” and encouraged men who are considering joining the shed to visit:

“Come down, see the place, have a chat, have a cup of tea with the lads. We’ll show you around and people can do what they want.”

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