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  • The Irish Men’s Sheds Association Conference and Shedfest – Celebrating Connection

    The Irish Men’s Sheds Association National Conference and Shedfest – Celebrating Connection



    The Irish Men’s Sheds Association announces their National Conference and Shedfest on Monday 20th November in the Virginia Show Centre in Virginia, County Cavan.

    The National Conference and Shedfest will be officially opened by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, T.D.

    The programme will commence with Chief Executive Officer Men’s Sheds, Enda Egan, with an update on the current shed movement nationally, and the launch of Shedfest 2023. Micheal Lyster is MC for the day’s programme; he will welcome Author and Actor Michael Harding who will entertain participants with his unique take on the Men’s Sheds phenomenon.

    A packed programme will feature UCCs Dr. Carol Power on her research on the Men’s Sheds as Changemakers, we will hear from Governor David Mulligan in the Training Unit of Mountjoy Prison, which has its own Shed. Dr. Karen Moore, Community Climate Action Officer, Laois County Council and Dr. Kate Chandler, Communities & Engagement Pollinator Officer from National Biodiversity Data Centre will discuss the climate and biodiversity challenges which face us and the opportunities arising for sheds.

    The days presentations will conclude with a discussion on the ‘Unmentionables’ – in this case Prostate Cancer, with Martin Sweeney from The Arc Cancer Centre.

    The two hundred participants due to descend on Virginia from Sunday will be entertained with music from R.A Men’s Shed RAMS in Rhythm, the Dublin based group while Sheds from around the country will display their wares and projects. This year Irish Men’s Sheds will stream the event live on our website – visit www.menssheds.ie or simply search for Irish Men’s Sheds on YouTube.

    CEO of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association Enda Egan said:

    “We are proud to hold our first ever National Conference and Shed Fest in The Virginia Show Centre in County Cavan, and we are delighted to have the event officially opened by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, T.D.  The variety of projects on display and the topics for discussion at the conference is very encouraging and displays the importance of the 435 Men’s Sheds as enablers and connectors within communities all over Ireland. We are using this opportunity to demonstrate the value of Sheds and emphasise that there is a role for every man in a Men’s Shed and encourage men all over Ireland to ‘get their head into a shed!’”.

    Enda went on to say “We are delighted with today’s announcement and we’re grateful to Minister Humphreys for her ongoing support for the sheds.  The Men’s Shed movement was hit very hard by the Covid pandemic with weekly attendance numbers falling from 10,000 pre-covid to approximately 6,000 currently. This announcement is a major a boost for us in the Irish Men’s Sheds Association to know that this funding can be utilised by sheds to pay for their utility and material bills throughout this winter and mitigate against the increased cost of running a Men’s shed. This funding will help greatly towards the sustainability of Ireland’s 435 Men’s Sheds as many continue to struggle to re-open and remain operational post-covid. There is no doubt Shed members up and down the country, and their communities will benefit greatly from this funding, and I know that the support from Minister Humphreys is much appreciated by all shed members.”