The door is open to newcomers at a busy Men's Shed in Laois

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan

The door is open to newcomers at a busy Men's Shed in Laois

Mountmellick Men's Shed at a computer course

Men of all ages with time on their hands are being welcomed to join the thriving Mountmellick Men’s Shed in Laois.

The group now has about 40 active members who meet twice a week for chats, music rehearsals and crafty projects in their Shed behind the arts centre.

Michael Feely has been recently elected chairman.

“It’s a great honour to be chairman for the first time. Our membership is holding strong but any new members are welcome to come along. If anyone has a project that they think the Men’s Shed can help with they can come and talk to us as well,” he said.

The Men’s Shed movement has each shed choosing the activities that suit them. In Mountmellick, music is a big part.

“On Monday nights we have a short meeting and then a chat and a cuppa. On Thursdays the singing group and musicians rehearse. We also have a garden and polytunnel where members grow their own flowers and vegetables as well as flowers for the Tidy Towns,” he said.

“Our woodworking group makes bird boxes, bird tables and as spring comes in window boxes for the Tidy Towns.

“We all have skills we never use. Some are into art so we do courses on art. We have speakers regularly, with one coming up on health and wellness,” Mr Feely said.

There is no fee to join.

“People just pay a couple of euro as they go along to cover costs,” he said.

For him and others it offers a great social outlet.

“It’s a great place to meet people and chat, I’ve actually met a lot of people I didn’t know. Many men are on their own and lonely, a number come in from the countryside to us,” he said.