Irish Men’s Sheds Association pleads with Taoiseach for full reopening of sheds next month
The Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA) has today written to Taoiseach Micheál Martin, urging him to sanction the full reopening of sheds in September. This plea comes at a critical juncture for our members across the country, as many have become disillusioned in recent weeks and feel left behind.
As pubs, restaurants, leisure facilities and even international travel have all now returned, it has been very difficult for our shedders to watch society moving on and getting back to normal while their beloved sheds remain shut. We understand that all of the above groups have reopened under very stringent conditions, and that they must operate in accordance with all public health measures. Our sheds are all willing to do the same, and to comply fully by following any necessary protocols for their safe reopening. Enda Egan, CEO of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association, says there’s a real need for these men’s voices to be heard, and their concerns about being forgotten while the rest of country reopens must now be addressed. “There’s no doubt that men need an outlet, a secure place to go, to be active, to chat and to meet each other as equals” he explains. “The harsh impact of the COVID-19 pandemic means that such an outlet has never been more critical to protect Irish men from loneliness and isolation”.
Many shed members are of an older demographic, and so an overwhelming majority of them are also fully vaccinated and have been for quite some time now. This, in addition to the fact that sheds are often well-ventilated spaces, allows many to conclude that they would be in no more danger gathering together inside the shed than they would be attending a wedding, or having a meal inside a restaurant. While nothing is risk-free during this pandemic, community groups like men’s sheds have been left to wonder why their own reopening seems to be considered a higher risk than others.
It is now time to give these groups hope, and to acknowledge all the efforts our older generations have made to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. It is time to give shed members the payoff they envisioned through all their months of cocooning and let them return to their beloved sheds.
The IMSA sincerely hopes that the Taoiseach will agree, and that his Government will sanction our full reopening in the coming weeks.