Swords Men’s Shed reaching for the stars
With the number of Men’s Sheds expanding at a rapid rate, there’s barely a patch of the island untouched by the movement. One enterprising Co. Dublin shed has fixed its sights on higher things, beyond Ireland’s green and fertile shores. Sword’s Men’s Shed recently breached the final frontier, hosting a visit from the Irish Astronomical Society (IAS). The event was the culmination of the Sheds long – standing interest in all matters celestial, with the shedders having visited historic Dunsink Observatory two years running.
Ben Mullen of Sword’s Men’s Shed says “The Irish Astronomical Society’s mission statement is about popularising astronomy and they were delighted to come out to us.” The visit took the form of an hourlong presentation from the IAS delegstion, comprising John Dolan, Mick McCreary and Val Dunne. “They brought binoculars, a telescope and some copies of their magazine, Orbit. It was all about astronomy as a hobby.”
Like several other shedders, Ben has a deep rooted interest in astronomy, which he attributes to the inimitable Sir Patrick Moore and his The Sky at Night programme. “It sort of sparked my interest. I have a pair of binoculars on a tripod and I do a bit of stargazing myself.” Even before their gaze expanded to the whole universe, the men of Swords were looking to new horizons. Earlier this summer, the official handover of their new premises on Seatown Road was carried out by benefactors Paul and Anthony Dunne of Knife – Edge Fencing with Fingal Lord Mayor Cllr. Darragh Butler in attendance. “We’ve been Nomads until recently renting the Holywell Community Centre. We’re delighted to be fitting out the new premises and we are very grateful to the Dunnes for building us a new shed.”
With feet finally planted on solid ground Ben is looking forward to welcoming the IAS back in the near future. Sawdust and stardust make for a potent combination and other Sheds who are interested in astronomy can find out more by visiting the Irish Astronomical Society at www.irishastrosoc.org. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, we are all in the shed but some of us are looking at the stars. New members are always welcome to Swords Men’s Shed and should you require further information please see contacts listed or alternatively you can contact IMSA on 01 8916150