Ballybunion men win community award

Ballybunion's Men's Shed has received a Community Vibrancy Recognition Programme Award in recognition of its valuable contribution to Kerry and further afield.

The award was presented in association with a Kerry Group and NEWKD partnership, and judges cited the shed's part in Ballybunion's vibrancy; providing support to men in the area; promoting the national men's shed movement; and leadership in community, environmental and rural matters as reasons for its win.

Having opened in 2012, the Ballybunion Shed is one of 425 throughout the country - Ireland has the largest concentration of men's sheds on earth - and aims to provide a place for men to meet and undertake shared activities in an environment conducive to learning and skill-sharing. After receiving the award, Chairperson Pat Cummins was full of praise for his members, crediting them on their community-driven ethos.

Director of Corporate Affairs Kerry Group Frank Hayes was also keen to praise the Ballybunion group on its efforts, and the men's shed movement as a whole.

"The men's shed movement provides important social support for a section of the community that was traditionally overlooked," Mr Hayes said.

"The Ballybunion shed is a fantastic example of an open and inclusive environment that offers something to all participants and to the wider local community."

NEWKD Chairperson John Stack explained the important role played by Men's Sheds within his group's overall vision.

"The development of men's sheds in the NEWKD area is a key part of the company's strategy," he said.

"We congratulate both the volunteers and staff involved in the Ballybunion Men's Shed, which is uniquely relevant to the needs in the local area."