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Men’s Building Blocks

Men’s Building Blocks

Launch of Sponsor-a-Block For Carrigaline Men’s Shed

Writes Leo McMahon

The Sponsor-a-Block campaign for the building of a new Carrigaline Men’s Shed off Church Road was officially launched on site last Monday, October 1st by locally based Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney and Deputy Michael McGrath.

The foundation is laid, the site has been fenced and steel and block work is about to commence on the state-of-the-art 20 x 18 metres building costing around €200,000 that will include meeting rooms, wood and mechanical workshops, a kitchen, a visitors’ shop and café, storage bays and wash rooms. It’s hoped to complete the project by early 2019. The group currently operates in a temporary premises on site and has a gardening polytunnel.

Blocks costing only €5 can be purchased by visiting the Men’s Shed where a warm welcome awaits Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm or by donating to Carrigaline Men’s Shed, Business Account at Permanent TSB, Carrigaline Account No. 204191990 Sort code 990716. Shed members themselves will be promoting and holding fundraising events. Enquiries 087-8137990 and visitors and new members are always welcome.

In addition to a big turnout of ‘shedders’, guests included Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin and fellow Cork South Central Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire; county councillors Seamus McGrath, Michael Frick Murphy and Eoghan Jeffers and representatives of gold medal winning Carrigaline Tidy Towns, the Lions Club, local media and staunch supporter, building contractor and shed president developer Stephen McCarthy.

A welcome was extended by chairman Barry Cogan who thanked all who already contributed to and supported the project in different ways to date including the Government, Cork County Council (who leased the site), South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD), Clann Credo, the Community Association, Stephen McCarthy, local businesses, public representatives and members of the Men’s Shed, leaving a shortfall of over €40,000 to be met by fundraising, mainly through Sponsor-a-Block.

‘This is going to be a very special part of Carrigaline and a really important outlet where men will build and maintain friendships and be able to work and socialise in a proper facility’, said Minister Coveney, who, in urging continued support added: ‘This is an appeal to the town to be generous by spending €5 a block.’

Deputy McGrath said it was ‘a happy occasion’ for Carrigaline. It was a hugely impressive project but irrespective of the physical structure, the Men’s Shed’s contribution to the local community was immense as depicted in a display board at the launch showing the many activities and events it is involved in.

He agreed with An Tanaiste that the new facility would form part of a fine campus on both sides of Church Road representing incremental improvements to Carrigaline such as the new skateboard park, the Youth Centre and Tidy Towns projects.

With this project, Carrigaline, he went on, was to the fore of the Men’s Shed movement, an important social outlet for men of all ages because, even in built up urban areas, they could be lonely and the value they got from involvement and just a place to talk in such a community facility could not be understated.

Micheal Martin TD joined with his Dail colleagues in wishing the project every success and in congratulating all involved in ‘a wonderful development by a great movement’ paid a special tribute to Barry Cogan and fellow team project team members who include Aidan Winters, Noel Lane and Roger Morrissey. Refreshments followed in the temporary pre-fab building on the site organized by Pat Byrne.

*Congratulations was extended at the launch to Carrigaline Tidy Towns on winning a gold medal in the national competition for the second time.

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