HOSPITAL Family Resource Centre, the local Men’s Shed and Limerick City of Culture’s Mobile Pub teamed up for a unique event in the county town.
Martha Potter, community development worker at the family resource centre, said the mobile pub project provided a perfect social occasion - a chance for men to meet up, relax and have some fun.
The event started with a nature walk taking in parts of Knockainey and Hospital. After their exertions it was time for the gentlemen to quench their thirst with a well deserved pint at the mobile pub.
It was parked conveniently in the scenic lay by on the way into Hospital on the Limerick Road.
“Photographs from the men’s group in Hospital adorned the walls of the small pub on wheels.
The pub, which is being renamed at each new location, took on the name The Hospitality Bar for the evening. The men who attended really enjoyed the evening, which was an opportunity to meet up and have a chat.
“Conversations on the night turned to the demise of the local pub, isolation suffered by single and older men, in particular, in rural areas, Garth Books, school days and the changes in the local community over the years,” said Ms Potter of the resource centre who supported the event.
Men’s Sheds are non-profit organisations that originated in Australia, to advise and improve the overall health of all males. They normally operate on a local level in the community, promoting social interaction and aim to increase the quality of life.
It linked in perfectly with the mobile pub. It was commissioned as part of Limerick City of Culture and has been devised and co-ordinated by artists Michael Fortune and Aileen Lambert.
“The mobile pub is a travelling cultural repository, a meeting place: ‘the local’. Going where no pub has gone before - travelling the back roads and townslands of County Limerick during the month of July 2014,” they say.
The aim is to explore the role of the local pub as a social space and cultural repository for local communities, therefore in each community it visits, the programme will reflect the pub culture unique to that community and the mobile pub will be adorned with knick-knacks and photos reflecting that community, in order to create a “local” that is truly “local” to that place.
Hence the local photographs on the walls to make it their own.
The novel event showed how community organisations can join together for the betterment of everyone and certainly proved a ‘pint’.
Hospital Family Resource Centre is a community initiative directed by a voluntary management committee.
“The aim of the centre is to improve the quality of life for vulnerable people in rural communities of East Limerick. This is done by challenging inequality to influence change. The groups targeted by our centre are older people, families, men, women and people with disabilities,” said Ms Potter.