Men’s Sheds celebrate 10 years in Ireland
Tomorrow (Monday 6th December 2021) is one of great significance for thousands of men across the country, as the Irish Men’s Sheds Association celebrates its tenth anniversary.
The occasion is being marked by a special virtual conference which will look back at the many highlights of the organisation since its inception in 2011. In the decade since then, the men’s shed movement has truly exploded throughout the island of Ireland. There are now over 460 sheds affiliated with the Irish Men’s Sheds Association (IMSA), and the country has more sheds per capita than any other nation in the world.
To acknowledge this incredible growth of the movement over such a short time frame, an expert panel of speakers are lined up for the upcoming conference, who will each reflect on why Men’s Sheds have thrived so greatly in Ireland.
Alongside these special guests there will also be a message from Taoiseach Michael Martin featured, as he has long been a vocal supporter of the IMSA, and has continuously attested to the value of men’s sheds in modern Irish society.
John Evoy, founder of the IMSA, will also address the conference, to recount the early days of the movement and the formation of Ireland’s first ever sheds.
Meanwhile Professor Barry Golding will be broadcasting to the conference all the way from Australia, where the men’s sheds movement first originated. He’ll be discussing his latest research on the global phenomenon, the findings of which are included in his new book ‘Shoulder to Shoulder: Broadening the Men’s Sheds Movement’.
With this excellent panel of speakers involved, alongside many more, there’s sure to be something for everyone on the day. Hundreds of shedders throughout Ireland are registered to attend the conference, which will be broadcast from Carrigaline Men’s Shed in Cork, and will be hosted by Enda Egan, CEO of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association.
“While we are delighted that so many high-profile figures will be joining us on the day, tomorrow is really all about the Sheds and the men inside them that will be tuning in” says Mr. Egan. “These are men, mainly of an older demographic, who struggled hugely in early lockdowns to tackle new apps like Zoom and WhatsApp, yet they persevered in order to stay connected with each other and to keep the passion for their sheds alive. They are the reason that the Irish Men’s Sheds Association is still here, and why a majority of the sheds are managing to keep going strong despite the horrendously difficult last 20 months. We just want to put on a great event for them tomorrow as a small way of showing our thanks for all their hard work and sacrifice throughout this pandemic”.
“The Association’s tenth birthday will no doubt be a celebratory occasion, but it will also be an opportunity for remembrance” he explains. “Many of our shedders have sadly passed away during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the strict restrictions that have been in place meant that very few of them could be mourned by large crowds. As a result, a lot of their remaining shed mates feel they were unable to give their dearly departed friends a fitting send off. In honour of those who are no longer with us to join in the festivities tomorrow, a special musical tribute will also be performed at the conference. So it will be quite an emotional day for many.”