Cllr Danial Butler Denis McMahon, Pat Lynch, Sean Dalton, Denis Ryan and James Collins outside the site for the Men's Shed in Dooradoyle. Picture Michael Cowhey.
PLANS for a Men’s Shed in Dooradoyle have received a boost after council planners gave permission for the voluntary group to operate for 10 years.
The Dooradoyle/Raheen Men’s Shed committee had secured permission to erect a modular building on local authority-owned land off St Nessan’s Road.
With tens of thousands of euro already pledged towards the project, Limerick City and County Council has now agreed that the land can be used as a Men’s Shed for a decade – and not the five years as initially permitted.
Sean Dalton, who chairs the committee, has welcomed the news, saying more than 60 men of all ages are interested in using the Men’s Shed, which will be located at an old council depot.
A relatively new concept, a ‘Men’s Shed’ is a dedicated, friendly and welcoming meeting place where men can come together and undertake a variety of activities or just socialise with their peers.
Open to all men regardless of age, background or ability, it’s a place where they can learn old skills or develop old skills.
“We have various applications in for funding, including from West Limerick Resources,” Sean explains, “Most applications for funding have a requirement [permission] lasts for ten years. We’re working hard to get the project moving forward”.
Next month, the Men’s Shed committee will host their inaugural Golf Classic which Sean hopes will begin to put the final sums in place and allow a facility to open in Dooradoyle, which is currently one of the largest areas in the city without one.
“We have been working at this for the last two years. We have huge interest in having a Men’s Shed in Dooradoyle. The difficulty we had was we had not been able to find a vacant premises which is how most Men’s Sheds operate. We have had to start from scratch. It’s a fairly big task,” Sean added, “It’s been a huge community project.”
Sean also paid tribute to committee member Mark Crowley for his work in helping to develop a ten year business plan for the Men’s Shed, something he says is also crucial for funding applications.
Funding for the Men’s Shed has come from a variety of sources, including a fund set aside by Limerick’s seven City West councillors.
Planners allowed a ten year presence for the Men’s Shed subject to three conditions, including that the site is not used for any commercial activity.
The reason the permission is only for a decade is to allow the committee to find a permanent home.