It is a gentleman’s club with a difference
IT IS a gentleman’s club with a difference – the Newtownmountkennedy & Newcastle Men’s Shed in the townland of Killadreenan.
The members have found a home for themselves in a former garden centre which has been converted into a sitting room with a cheery stove and a wellequipped workshop.
Those who come to enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow men here have varying views on what makes the ‘shed’ so appealing.
For some, it is an opportunity to make things, to dust off old skills and be quietly creative.
The output from the workshop includes planters which are exported to a Dublin school for dyslexic children and ‘ buddy benches’ for local schools.
For others, the chance to grow things in the mini-allotments is very attractive.
At this time of year, the outdoor activities are very attractive with a good crop of lettuce, cabbage and scallions coming through.
The N&N may well be the only Shed in the country with its own livestock – a flock of hens.
The admirably spiritual desire to plant and nurture and grow is laced with mischievous rivalry as the gardeners compete to produce the biggest onion or the finest tomatoes.
All agree that the craic and the banter exchanged in the best of good humour are at the heart of the venture.
The set-up of the shed represents incredibly good value for the tenner a year subscription – a bargain if ever there was one.
Membership is strictly limited to 50, which means that a waiting list has had to be introduced.
‘This is the best thing since the sliced pan,’ says one of the 50. ‘Anyone can come in here to read the paper and have a chat.’
Newcastle and Newtown Mens Shed: Derek Carroll, Jack Byrne, Willy Fitzpatrick, Colin Gammell, Dermot Downes, Pat Doyle, Chairman John Kelly, Paddy Murphy, Jpohn Mooney, Eddie Gregory, James Gregory, Gerald Sinnott.