Men’s Shed hold AGM and celebrate a successful first year

Twenty seven members attended yesterday’s first Clarecastle Community Development’s Men’s Shed AGM.  Martin Reynolds was elected Vice Chair to replace Paschal Russell next year.  John O’Flynn Asst. Sec/Treasurer to shadow Liam Barry for 2016. Bomber remains as PRO. Donal O’Brien was elected Entertainments Officer, Gerry Abraham ( a youthful 84 year old) was elected Health and Safety Officer and Johnny Meere will be the Buildings/Facilities Officer.
The group has just completed a computer course  and an eight week long wood turning course (8 weeks) is starting this week. An excursion to Loop Head is being finalised and a visit to Moneypoint is also being organised. A health and safety expert from the Men’s Shed Dublin is due to give a workshop in the coming weeks. James Meadeis now facilitating conversational Irish “as gaeilge”. In the coming weeks, Saffron and Blue Healthcare Centre is also to address Men’s Shed members of the importance of monitoring health and adopting age appropriate fitness regime.

Please find below the Secretary’s report for Clarecastle’s Men’s Shed 2015-16 which gives lots of information about the activities of the last year

Starting up

Towards the ends of 2014 and at the beginning of 2015 CCDL proposed the setting up of a Men’s Shed Group in Clarecastle. Paschal Russell was approached to act as Chairman, Bernard Hanrahan, PRO and Liam Barry as secretary. Liam Barry was also appointed as treasurer when the Shed was up and running. Michael Foley acts as liaison between the Men’s Shed and CCDL. The objective of this interim committee was to ensure the setting up of the group with the intention of a committee being selected from within the group when it is established.

Prior to the this first meeting Clarecastle Community Development bore the cost of our insurance with Brokers BPH Insurances LTD, premium €180.00, and our Shed was registered with the Irish Men’s Shed Association Req. No. IMSA 000259. This expires on Dec 2015 as per certificate; however IMSA advises that it is valid until March 2016 and they will advise when renewal is required.

It was decided to hold meetings every Wednesday between 1030 and 1230.

After familiarisation visits to Sixmilebridge and Ennis men’s shed groups our Shed held its first gathering on March 4th 2015. The attendance of 10 at the first meeting was very positive and the numbers steadily grew as the year progressed. The following attended that first meeting, Martin Reynolds, Eugene Brennan (R.I.P.), Tony McConnellogue, Chris Stack, John Meere, Bernard Hanrahan, Liam Barry, Michael Foley, Donal O Brien and Johnny Scanlon.

One of our first projects was the building of a miniature boat to facilitate a floral display. This was presented to the community and is prominently displayed across the road opposite Powers Pub. The group has undertaken the task of improving the Abbey Hall especially the Old Original School by painting the walls and adding a timber floor.

photo of boatBoat presented to Community for floral display


Thanks to Martin McNamara for loaning us some tools and equipment for our start up and to the members who brought their own tools.

A Major Revelation

A major accomplishment of our group was the discovery and revealing of a stone inscription denoting the old 1843 National School.  This had been covered over with plaster in the 1940s or 50s. It is now there to be seen in all its glory.  New members keep bringing a new dynamic to the group. We are now making flower boxes, miniature timber wheel barrows for floral displays, Kids toys, flower pot hangers, cradles, and the list grows.

sign at frontThe revealing of the historical 1843 School Inscription.

Membership to Date – December 2015

The following have attended our meetings to date.  Martin Reynolds, Eugene Brennan (R.I.P.), Tony McConnellogue, Chris Stack, John Meere, Bernard Hanrahan, Liam Barry, Michael Foley, Donal O Brien and Johnny Scanlon, Jim Sheehan, Tommy McAdam, Michael Malone, John O Flynn, Flan Ward, Paschal Russell,  Pat Flynn, Kieran Farmer, Kevin Murray, Anthony Higgins, Eric Shaw, Frank Barry, Michael Lynch, Gabriel Gregan, Sean McNamara, Heber McMahon, Gerry Abraham, T.J Scanlon, P J Garry, Pat Murphy. This is a total of 30 different people.

The arrival of Anthony Higgins to our group saw him bring a template for making miniature wheelbarrows. The group enthusiastically embraced the building of these which resulted with 2 being presented to the Day care Centre.

Prior to the annual fair, which is organised by The Clarecastle District Day Care Centre our Shed Group made and presented wheelbarrows and toy cradles to assist them with their fundraising.

Presentation to Day Care Centre


Workshop on entitlements

For our meeting on the 6th May 2015 a speaker was organised to give our members a talk on “Entitlements”. Our shed members decided to make this meeting open to the broader community and it was well attended and received. The speaker was provided by the Citizens Information Bureau. Our members found it very beneficial.

Croke Park

Our travel Committee under the leadership of John O Flynn and Michael Malone organised a day trip to Croke Park on Monday 31 August 2015.  There, we toured the facilities which included the dressing rooms, pitch and museum. These were followed by the highlight and much looked forward to – Sky Walk.  Unfortunately, heavy rain commenced once we started on the SKY Walk. A walk that can take over an hour was completed in a substantially less time. A well known golfer was heard to say that he will never give out about San Sebastian again. I know what goes on tour stays on tour so I cannot talk of San Sebastian, but it may have been weather related.  All in all a very enjoyable day was had by all.

croke park

The Croke Park 16


From an early stage many members expressed interest in doing some courses. Discussions took place as to the venue and type of courses required. The provider of these courses is the Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board who also provided a speaker to present the information to us at one of our meetings.  The following courses were chosen, Basic Computers and Wood Turning. It was hoped that both of these courses would run from September but unfortunately the wood turning could not be facilitated until Jan/Feb 2016. Eight to nine participants attended the computer course from Mid September to early November.

Supporters and Sponsors

We must acknowledge the support and sponsorship received from our local Central Store and Joe Deasy. On a weekly basis he provides our group with Tea, Coffee and biscuits and sometimes a newspaper.

Thanks also to our local community who supported us during our National Men’s Shed Collection day and at our own church gate collection. We have also received generous sponsorship from St. Francis Credit Union and Roche Irl. LTD. We must also acknowledge the generosity of the Parish and Hall Committee for access to their premises and we are delighted to be able to assist them with improvements to the building. This arrangement is a win win situation for all.   We are very grateful for the support received from James and Ronan Malone. They have supplied us with a huge amount of timber which we put to good use. We also qualified and secured a grant of €1000 from Ennis Municipal District.

Health & Safety – Always important

health and safety


Christmas Gathering 2015 men's shed christmas 2015

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