Ballaghaderreen Men’s Shed is appealing for funding in order to carry out vital renovation works at its new base, a 70-year-old building located behind Solan’s Bar in the town.
A gofundme page has been set up and so far over €3,000 has been raised following an online appeal which included a YouTube video to highlight the importance of the shed to its members.
Secretary Cyril O’Connor described the shed as a “democratic organisation” and said that while it is currently open from 8 pm to 10 pm each Tuesday, the hope would be to extend its opening hours in the future.
PRO Martin Tynan told the Roscommon People that the shed provides a vital social outlet for men in the area.
“We have 35 members and they come from all walks of life and from many different nationalities including Irish, Scottish, English, Syrian, Pakistani and others. It’s somewhere the men can come to share skills and socialise. The membership each year is €20 and then it’s €2 per session each week and for that you get your tea and biscuits and we play games and take part in various projects,” he said. The Men’s Shed, which was set up earlier this year, moved to its current premises just four weeks ago and unfortunately has had to turn away five members due to a lack of disabled access and facilities. Martin says plans for the building are already in place.
“As you can see, the new building is being renovated. It was a shell when we arrived and the hope is to turn the first floor into a meeting room with a kitchen, office and toilet. The ground floor will be used as a work area where the men will complete projects. The renovation is a project in itself!”
The men at the Ballaghaderreen Men’s Shed come from all walks of life and include retired teachers, farmers and businessmen, and they flock from all over Ballaghaderreen and surrounding areas to the meetings each Tuesday night.
The group has been allocated funding from Roscommon County Council for plumbing and electrical work, for which the members are extremely grateful, but there remains much work to be done.
The gofundme page has also helped, and so too has a YouTube video which was made to publicise the fundraising effort. Teresa Corrigan, daughter of shed member John Corrigan, set up the page before teaming up with Christine Braithwaite to produce the film which is narrated by local businessman and shed chairman, Pat Towey.
“We’ve raised over €3,430 so far with the help of the YouTube video and the gofundme page – the generosity of people is astounding. The video contains interviews with each of the men in which they describe what the shed means to them. It’s very important to them as a social outlet and it’s somewhere they can come and share their troubles or just chat and play games over a cup of tea.
“The motto of the shed is ‘No man is an island’ and it’s very apt for what goes on here and how the men feel about this group. We welcome everyone regardless of creed, sexuality, politics, or anything else. As the song goes: ‘When I help my fellow brother, I plant the seeds of friendship that will never die,” he concluded.
For more information on the Ballaghaderreen Men’s Shed or to make a donation, contact Martin Tynan PRO on 087-8143441 or search for the men’s shed on www.gofundme.com.