• Charity No. 19928 Phone No. 0818 900 800

  • From Haysheds to Men’s Sheds.

    Last June I did a lot of travelling to crop-walk barley fields, located in SW Wexford, criss-crossing a network of roads through townslands, villages, and parishes. I had to keep an eye out for major landmarks such as churches, pubs, GAA Clubhouses and soccer pitches. But as I drew closer, minor landmarks such as farm entrances, pillars and haysheds became more important in helping me locate fields.

    Haysheds which are dotted throughout the countryside, with colours from rustic red to grey to dark green, are part and parcel of the rural landscape but are now hardly given a second thought or glance. They were a focal point of the farm, proudly bearing the names “Kellys of Portlaoise” or “Graves of New Ross” who incidentally played a major role in the Shipping business in the town.

    After walking the crops I generally called to the farmhouse to update them over a cup of tea and I couldn’t help noting the amount of families who had a son or a daughter living and working abroad. One man told me that his son had recently moved to Australia and how much he missed him. Even on sunny days in rural Wexford it sometimes can be hard to get away from the well known story of emigration, separation and isolation.

    Later on driving across the bridge in Ross, looking from The Dunbrody Famine Ship to the Old Albatros Plant, the history of fertiliser importation and emigration are still very much in evidence today.

    In recent years however, a new type of shed has emerged in Ireland, in the form of Men’s Sheds which is becoming a new meeting point for men in the community.   The Men’s Shed concept was introduced from Australia and the first Shed was set in Co. Tipperary in 2009.  It’s a place where men can come together to talk and perhaps work on interesting and meaningful projects and if you are interested, you won’t  need to look for any landmarks or sign posts, it’s now there for you at the click of a button, on the ‘Find a Shed’ page at www.menssheds.ie/find-a-shed-2