01 Oct 2022

Graignamanagh Men’s Shed is bringing life back to an old building

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

Graignamanagh Men’s Shed: Cllr Peter Chap Cleere with Jim Murphy, Christy Bolger, Martin Gahan, Victor Branaghan, Paddy Corbett, Bill Crean, Paddy Flood and Larry Wickham PICTURE: HARRY REID

It might not be the first location that springs to mind for a community group, but a disused toilet block is getting a new lease of life as a workshop base for Graignamanagh’s Men’s Shed.

The vibrant group boasted about 16 active members before lockdown, and their new home will be a comfortable space for multiple craft activities. The men also have a choir who loved performing at local nursing homes pre-Covid and look forward to returning.

Work to retrofit and refurbish the building, on Convent Lane, is now entering its final phase and is hoped to be completed by the end of February.
Before the renewal works the building sat unused for 10 to 15 years.

Last December works continued on the internal fit-out of a work area, kitchenette, universal accessible toilet and storage area.

On the outside of the building the last phase of works include external cladding, railings and paving.
An interesting feature of the new Men’s Shed will be its green living roof. This will be a haven for polllinators and a favourite feature of group members who are also beekeepers.

An amenity space to the rear within the library / Health Centre courtyard is already completed.
Vincent Doran, a member of the Men’s Shed, said their previous premises was small but this new location will allow them to have a workshop, somewhere to have a cup of tea, and maybe even sell the things they make in the public space at the front of the building.

The new building will also have enough space to play indoor bowls, a game the men had just started to learn when lockdown kicked in.

This project is also being progressed under the LEADER Programme 2014-2020 with match funding from the Council. As part of the arrangement the Council has taken charge of the project design and contract administration. The Graignamanagh Men’s Shed are currently finalising a long-term lease agreement with Kilkenny Council County for the use of this building.

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