Stories shed light on life experiences
A book featuring life stories from a group of Wexford men who never had work appear in print before has just been released by the Silver Thread publishing company.
'Stories from the Shed' was launched by Cllr George Lawlor in Wexford Library and features stories from nine men who come from six Men's Shed projects across the county.
Speaking to this newspaper about the initiative the Wexford Men's Shed coordinator, Donnacha Murphy, said it was a very enjoyable and interesting project that has sparked a lot of interest across the county and across the country as the Wexford group is the first one involved with Men's Sheds anywhere to publish such a book.
'They wrote about their own experiences and they had never written anything before,' said Mr Murphy.
'Some of them never even contemplated writing anything before,' he added.
'We started meeting in May and the publishers held workshops with the writers.'
Mr Murphy said the idea for the book came about from Wexford man John Evoy who is the person behind the Men's Shed movement in Ireland.
'He put me in touch with Silver Thread and I thought it was a really good idea,' said Mr Murphy.
'It gives an insight into the life experiences of the men involved with the sheds,' he added.
'It was very interesting to see guys who had never written anything before take time out from their routines to put pen to paper.'
However, being coordinator in County Wexford meant Mr Murphy wasn't left off-the-hook and he too had to contribute to the book but he said he was more than happy to do so.
Such was the success of the project that Mr Murphy said he is going to seek funding to develop the idea further and to broaden the scope for an even bigger project that would incorporate all of the Men's Sheds in the county.
'I'd like to see it expanded to include more people and also to include everything from stories, songs, and poetry to plays,' he said.
The historical significance of the book is something Mr Murphy was keen to emphasis: 'It's the first time a collection of shed stories has been written anywhere and that's great,'
The book is now available online through the Silver Thread website but it's hoped it will also become available through local retailers in the coming months.
The authors whose work is featured in the book include: Tom Lohan (Corach Men's Shed); Tony Kerrigan (Shamrock Men's Shed), Henry Lambert (Shamrock Men's Shed); Ollie Daly (Bridgetown Men's Shed) and Seamus Corrigan (Enniscorthy Men's Shed) along with Tony Myers, Conor Gleeson, Padraig Manus and Donnacha Murphy (all from Gorey Men's Shed).