Men’s Shed plan for Limerick suburb takes huge step forward

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

At the former council yard which will be home to a new Men's Shed project are metro-mayor Daniel Butler, Denis McMahon, Pat Lynch, Sean Dalton, Denis Ryan and Cllr James Collins

At the former council yard which will be home to a new Men's Shed project are metro-mayor Daniel Butler, Denis McMahon, Pat Lynch, Sean Dalton, Denis Ryan and Cllr James Collins

PLANS for a ‘Mens Shed’ facility in Limerick city have taken a massive step forward after councillors agreed to give over local authority land to the project.

A motion was unanimously passed at this month’s metropolitan district meeting to give over a former council yard to the voluntary committee behind the Raheen/Dooradoyle Men’s Shed project.

Councillors have agreed to cede the 0.065 acre site in St Nessan's Road, with a right of way also being provided to allow pedestrian access from the roadway adjacent to the Maypark housing site.

Planning permission is already in place for the Men’s Shed group to erect a modular building on site, with the group set to pay a nominal rent of €1 per annum.

Fianna Fail councillor James Collins has welcomed the news, saying: “The committee are a very enthusiastic and energetic bunch. They have secured planning, the funds are raised and they are getting ready to commence work. I’ve have been lobbying on their behalf for some time as there is a distinct lack of community resources in the area. The Men’s Shed group are very community focused and are very willing to co-locate on the site with other clubs or community groups.”

Still 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.

While there are similar facilities in other parts of the city, it will be the first time a Men’s Shed has come to the huge area of Raheen/Dooradoyle.

New metropolitan mayor Daniel Butler added he hopes to see the project take off during his year in office.

“It’s fantastic news the Men’s Shed can finally claim a piece of land for themselves. From that, this gives them a platform to move forward to get a building. It will be a vital service in an area with huge levels of demand locally, and I’m sure it will be a massive success. It is obviously a huge tribute to all the volunteers involved,” he said, pledging he will do all he can to help the group out.

Funding for the Men’s Shed has come from a variety of sources, including monies set aside by Limerick’s seven City West councillors.

Planners are allowing 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.

Around 60 men of all ages have already expressed an interest in using the Men's Shed.