Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald (left) with the Chairman of Tullyallen Men's Shed Daithí Cusack and Local TD Imelda Munster.
Tullyallen Men’s Shed had a special visitor on Thursday evening as Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald dropped by for a visit along with Imelda Munster TD and Cllrs Joanna Byrne and Tom Cunningham.
Speaking after the visit, Chairperson Daithí Cusack said “Mary Lou was impressed with our Shed and the service it provides and listened as some of our members explained the difficulties they faced during lockdown.
Indeed, one of the members remarked afterwards, ‘ah sure she just dropped by to make sure we were alright’ and that’s how we felt afterwards. She was so nice. It has given us the lift we needed to kick start the Shed again under the ‘new normal’.”
The ‘new normal’ will include a new workshop for the Shed and the men are doing a fundraising raffle and the main prize is a garden shed kindly donated by Watters Garden Sheds based in Drumcashel, Stabannon. The other two prizes are a wishing well planter and a wheelbarrow planter made by talented members of the Shed. Tickets cost €10 and are available from any member of the Tullyallen Men’s Shed or through their Facebook page. The draw will take place just before Halloween.
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Mr Cusack said “we are a voluntary group and all proceeds go straight into Tullyallen Men’s Shed to provide a safe place for men to come after retirement and share their skills, friendship and craic with others. This particular fundraiser will help towards purchasing and equipping the new workshop.
“Just because we retire doesn’t mean we don’t still have a lot to offer so if anyone wants to join us new members will be very welcome, just give us a call or message our Facebook page.”
Finally, Daithí said “I want to thank Imelda Munster TD for bringing Mary Lou to visit us, it has really fired us up again and we appreciate it. The whole idea of Men’s Sheds is to provide an emotional and physical safe place for older men to come and Covid has been challenging for our 15-20 members as they have been cocooning and isolating since March.
"Men’s Shed was a support system for them, somewhere they could come and relax and enjoy the company of others and have a bit of craic while listening and helping each other and suddenly that support was cut short thanks to Covid.
“We managed to keep in contact with all our members and ensured they had everything they needed but it was a difficult time and it’s great to be back even if it is at a social distance and Mary Lou is welcome to drop by anytime.”
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