Significant growth in 'men's shed' movement

Mon, Dec 3, 2012, 00:00

There has been significant growth in the “men’s sheds” movement over the past year, with more than 2,000 “shedders” in Ireland.

There are more than 100 men’s sheds, which act as workshops and meeting places for men mainly over 50, John Evoy, chief executive of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association, told 260 representatives at the group’s annual general meeting in Killarney at the weekend.

Most of the growth in the shed movement, which began in Australia, took place in the past 12 months here, and Ireland now had the strongest shed movement in the northern hemisphere, the meeting was told.

The Irish shed movement was being called on to show the way to men in other countries from the US to Wales.

“The number of sheds is staggering and the most challenging thing now is managing the growth,” Mr Evoy said.

One new shed was seeking to register each week. But the “shed ethos” had to be maintained, he added.“It’s quite simple. It’s about a place where a few fellas can come together in their own time. We need to keep it simple.”

The draft findings of research into men’s sheds carried out by the Netwell Centre at Dundalk IT were presented.

Dr Lucia Carragher of the centre said men aged 50 and over experienced many changes, from retirement and isolation to health changes, and the sheds provided an important space for men going through those changes.