It’s home or bust as Bandon Men’s Shed meet with politicians
A West Cork Men’s Shed is holding a series of meetings with local Oireachtas members and county councillors in a bid to garner stronger support for its appeal for a permanent base.
It’s a case of ‘permanent home or bust’, said Tom McCleary, coordinator of Bandon Men’s Shed which has about 25 core members and a significant number of ‘floating’ attendees.
The group is responsible for a variety of successful local initiatives, including the popular annual Bandon in Bloom project under which colourful hanging baskets and window boxes for a variety of local town centre businesses are produced and maintained by Men’s Shed members for a relatively small cost to the businesses.
However, it’s now feared that members of the shed, based in St Michael’s Centre in the town’s main street, will be left without a meeting place in the coming months due to plans to convert the location into state-of-the-art accommodation and community facility for the elderly.
“We are holding the meetings in order to raise awareness of a massive challenge facing Bandon Men’s Shed,” Mr McCleary said.
“The Shed is quite an important organisation in the town.”
He said the members were currently in the process of changing over the summer window boxes and baskets to winter blooming plants.
“People have been shocked to hear that we are faced with a move and I have said we will not be moving to temporary premises — we either get a proper home or we close,” he said.
Mr McCleary has previously appealed to Cork County Council to provide a site for a permanent home for the group thus enabling them to potentially access funding to construct a permanent premise.
Capital funding is available to build a suitable premise if the organisation had a suitable site, Mr McCleary said.
Although the Bandon Men’s Shed should hopefully not have to move for up to 12 months, Mr McCleary said it was crucial the problem be highlighted now to the local community, to interested politicians and to the council.
He added if a permanent base was not found meantime, it would have no option but to close.