Galway to Host Global Gathering 2020
The Irish Men’s Sheds Association has announced that its biennial Men’s Sheds Gathering will take place at the National University of Ireland, Galway in August 2020. The marquee event is to be formally titled the Men’s Sheds Global Gathering 2020. It aims to be the largest gathering of men’s sheds members in the history of the global movement.
As well as delegates from the vast majority of Ireland’s sheds – expected to exceed 500 in number by August 2020 – representatives from at least three continents are scheduled to attend. As well as visitors from the spiritual home of the men’s sheds movement in Australia, members, supporters and officials from throughout Europe and North America will attend.
The Irish Men’s Sheds Association has become the linchpin of the rapidly developing European men’s sheds movement, and supports the development of sheds in Iceland, Finland, Denmark, France and even Estonia, where the city of Tartu recently witnessed the birth of the first men’s shed in the Baltic.
While it is somewhat utopian to imagine that the turmoil of Brexit will have passed by August 2020, the presence of sheds from both sides of the Irish border and from Great Britain will be an important symbol of solidarity, friendship and co-operation in the complicated period ahead.
The launch event at NUIG was attended by university president Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and Sean Kyne TD, Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the islands – himself an NUIG graduate.
The Minister offered warm words of encouragement ahead of the planned event:
“The Men’s Shed movement in Ireland continues to grow and develop at a phenomenal pace with over 450 communities across the country now benefitting from a Men’s Shed”, he said. “Tackling social isolation and loneliness, improving health and well-being, imparting new skills and developing and nurturing friendships are just some of the benefits which participants gain. Such benefits are why the Government, through the Department of Rural and Community Development, supports men’s sheds.
“I am delighted to help launch what will be the largest international Men’s Shed gathering which will take place next August in NUI Galway”, the minister continued. “The event will be a great opportunity to help spread the success of the men’s shed experience in Ireland around the world and I look forward to Galway hosting this global event next summer.”
The programme for the event is still in development, but will offer a full flavour of the global men’s sheds movement and its transformative potential. Further details will be released as this exciting global event takes shape.