A new Men’s Shed project began in the old Vocational School in Mohill on October 22 as part of a special partnership programme involving Leitrim VEC, Leitrim Development Company and the local community.
The Men’s Shed is a community-based, non-commercial organisation which primarily targets young adults between 18 and 30 years of age. It seeks to create an inclusive environment in which men get the opportunity to work collectively on a woodworking project. The primary objectives of this project are to develop leadership skills, life skills and handicraft skills.
The participants of the Men’s Shed in Mohill have decided to build a wooden Sheelin lake boat for their main project.
Today, fibreglass is the most commonly-used material for making boats. Wooden boat building is extremely labour intensive which makes them difficult to compete commercially. The boat constructed by the Men’s Shed will be a unique asset and will be one of few traditional boats in the country.
Once the boat is fully completed, the group intend to join the Rinn-Shannon and District Angling Club.
The Men’s Shed also recently arranged a field trip to get an insight into boat making and design, travelling to Sheelin Boats in Mountnugent, Co Cavan. The men were given a talk on the history of Sheelin boats and how the company evolved and also got an opportunity to tour the workshop where they could see the stages involved in constructing a lake boat. Finally, the group got the opportunity to see some finished lake and sea boats as well as sports boats and cruisers.
It is hoped that this woodworking project will to create more opportunities for young adults including progressing to further education or securing employment, as well as improving the overall health and well-being of the participants.
The project has been funded by the PEACE III Programme through the European Union’s Regional Development Fund managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by Co Leitrim PEACE III Partnership.