Michael Gorman, treasurer Men’s Shed; Gerry Lennon, Ballyconnell Credit Union; Kevin Coogan, chair Men’s Shed.

Men’s Shed quick on the mend

Belturbet and District Men’s Shed says it has been overwhelmed by the generosity of businesses as the local group looks to get back up and running and welcome back members following the latest and longest set of imposed Covid restrictions.

Patrick Hyland is secretary of the Belturbet Men’s Shed. He’s also one of the group’s first members. The Shed was set up within a premises to the rear of the old Railway Station in 2015. A former aeronautical engineer who moved to live in the Erneside town almost a decade ago, Patrick is one of a number of professionals who are members of the Shed. They are only too willing to lend their expertise in whatever way they can to complete jobs around Belturbet.

The group boasts several dozen members, many of whom kept in contact socially over the past 12 months.

“We’re starting up again and we’re very hopeful to expand further if possible,” explains Patrick, after Men’s Shed folded in both nearby Killeshandra and Ballyconnell. “We’re very conscious too that there are a lot of new Irish around as well and we’d like for them to engage with us as well.”

Ahead of reopening, the Belturbet Men’s Shed approached local companies, seeking assistance. The initiative is widely recognised as being positive outlet, both socially and mentally, for many men living in rural areas. The business community was keen to show its support.

Along with fixes and investment in the ‘shed’ itself, Belturbet Men’s Shed has actively linked in with other local organisations such as Tidy Towns and also Cavan County Local Development doing everything from painting to litter picks and repairing flower boxes around town.

“Businesses have been very generous really. We’re also very fortunate to have such a large premises to meet, and on a peppercorn rent too. It’s basically a care and maintenance agreement with the Belturbet Community Development Association, but it benefits the area, and it’s an important outlet for the people who attend here.”


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