Serious doubt is cast on future of Gorey Men's Shed
Search is on for an alternative premises to prevent closure
One of Gorey's most active community based organisations will be forced to close its doors for good if a suitable premises isn't found after a notice to leave its current base was served on it last week.
Gorey Men's Shed has been located in Gorey Business Park for the last 10 years and in that time has been involved in numerous different community projects and initiatives.
It regularly helps out organisations like Gorey Tidy Towns and was very involved in rejuvenating the footpaths in the Willow Park area as well as recreating the famine cart in the local famine graveyard.
However, new owners recently took over the building where the shed is currently located and according to the organisation's Chairperson, Cllr Robbie Ireton, while the news that it will have to re-locate was expected the relatively short timeframe in which is has to leave its current location was unexpected; the group has to be gone from its current premises by January 3.
'We sort of expected it would happen but the fact it has been served on us now took us a little bit by surprise because it was a bit sooner than expected,' he said.
'We are now on the lookout for a new, suitable premises,' he added.
'If we don't find a place soon there is a real danger that the Men's Shed here will close for good and that would be a great shame.'
Gorey Men's Shed was one of the first branches of the nationwide initiative to start in Co Wexford and it's also one of the most active sheds in the county.
'We're appealing for people out there who might have a premises to contact us and everything the group does is covered by its own insurance so that wouldn't be an issue,' said Cllr Ireton.
'Basically, we are looking for somewhere out there that we can go for relatively cheap rent,' he added.
'We're fully covered by our own insurance on all the projects we do.'
The latter point is significant because Men's Sheds are non-profit ventures but their value is in the contribution they make to their local communities and in the benefits they bring to members in terms of social interaction, promoting positive mental health and giving the members the opportunity to learn new skills.
There are over 30 people involved in the Gorey shed and as Cllr Ireton pointed out the interaction between members is mutually beneficial.
'The members learn from each other because they share their skills but it's the promotion and enhancing of positive mental health that is probably its strongest point,' said Cllr Ireton.
The members meet three days-a-week and four nights-per-week and because it is a very busy and active group Cllr Ireton said it would be a disaster for the town if it closes for good.
'Wherever it goes, and I hope we do find somewhere, it will need to have some kind of recreational space as the pool table and darts are also very important because some of the members might not be good with their hands so they're very important,' he said.
If anyone has a suitable premises available they are asked to contact Cllr Ireton on 087-2531916.