The Ballyleague-Lanesboro Area Men’s Shed Group is planning a project unlike any other in the area.
For their winter project, the group will be constructing two wooden fishing boats.
“Everything is ready to go,” said the group’s Chairman, Joe Cribbin. “The men just have to do a health and safety course first before going to the local community school to skill-up on woodwork.”
Mr Cribbin explained that four boats will be built in total: “We will have four teams whose members are currently on the live register, although other members of the Men’s Shed can come along to help.
“They’ll be building 19-foot-long larch fishing boats, which will be worth around €3,000-€4,000 each when finished. Ted Falvey of Fresh ‘N’ Ready Fruit and Veg is kindly letting us use one of his spare mushroom tunnels as a space for building the boats and the programme will take 22 weeks from start to finish.”
The course will be led by Tom Conlon, a boat-builder with 40 years of experience, and the group already has plans for the boats once they’re completed.
“We will be raffling two of the boats to raise funds for two local charities,” Mr Cribbin revealed. “We’re still deciding what to do with the other two boats.”
The group’s PRO, Ciaran Mullooly, added that a number of organisations are assisting with funding and support.
“It’s being run through the Department of Social Protection’s Activation and Family Support Programme in conjunction with Roscommon LEADER Partnership,” he revealed. “It’s also being assisted by the Skillnets Programme, Longford-Westmeath Education and Training Board, Bord na Móna, Ballyleague Village Renewal and Tidy Towns.
Established in April, the Ballyleague-Lanesboro Area Men’s Shed Group provides a social outlet for men who find themselves housebound for various reasons, including retirement and unemployment.