Dundalk’s Got Talent
Despite men’s sheds north and south being on temporary closure, they always find new and creative ways to connect with one another. With the shock of their shed having to temporarily close, Dundalk shedder Gene Yore notes that the isolation began to creep in. “Like everybody in the country, we were trying to adjust to the sudden change to everything. We were trying to get used to the shock of being closed, the isolation creeping in”.
Gene explains that like most sheds through the country, the Dundalk Men’s Shed is home to many talented individuals. This got fellow Dundalk member Brian Byrne thinking, and they came up with the idea of a virtual talent show. The reasoning for a talent show was to cheer people up and help them keep in touch during these difficult times. Hosted on the Dundalk Men’s Shed WhatsApp group, members submitted an array of music and poetry. With about half the shed involved, roughly 10 to 12, the competition was judged by fellow Dundalk member and choir master Patrick Connolly.
Running from a Monday to Friday right through the week, the WhatsApp group was overrun with musical and poetry talent. An enjoyable festival of talent for all, in the end however, only three came out on top. George Marley was noted for his original song, ‘Back in the Shed’, dubbed a locked-down song by many in the group, Michael Comiskey was also named winner for his beautiful rendition of ‘House of the Rising Sun’, as well as Chris McShane who wrote a poem. Commenting on the announcement of the winners, judge Patrick Connolly thank all the contributors for their wonderful entries. “You are all great”, he said, “and I hope you are keeping well and safe, and hopefully we will be back in the shed soon”. A big thanks was also given to Brian Byrne who organised the talent show.
Gene says that with the shed temporarily closed, technology like WhatsApp has been a great help. “Technology has proven very, very helpful. We never realised it at the time”. It doesn’t stop with WhatsApp for the shed though, Gene says that the are also getting started on Zoom, with a video conference organised for all the shedders to catch up and continue to connect with one another.