Kenmare Men’s Shed search comes to an end, as new venue is unveiled!

Despite almost 2 years of searching, it has taken this long to find a venue for our members. Eventually following discussion with Kenmare Marts and their committee, the manager Dan McCarthy agreed to allow us adapt the empty space under the stands which were being used as a storage area. We cannot thank them enough for their understanding and assistance. We have been cleaning this space out and doing some painting and decoration and will have the place ready by September. Then we can begin using our great range of tools and welcome in new members.
New members bring new ideas and each shed around the country has developed in its own way to reflect the needs locally. This has ensured the great success of the Mens Sheds movement nationally. It is proof that the needs of men are being catered for – particularly those living in rural isolated areas and especially those who have come or are coming to ‘pension age’ in next few years.
The Mens Shed movement is growing rapidly throughout the 32 counties with approx. 400+ sheds set up so far. Registered as a charity, the movement has grown so fast because it fulfilled a need in the community to address the social needs of men, particularly those in rural community, who are isolated, unemployed, retired, lonely etc. Having a place to go to, a project to be involved in or just to share a cup of tea can make all the difference to a person’s well-being both physically and mentally. The motto of the movement is “men talk shoulder-to-shoulder” and this has been proven true time and again.
The Kenmare Mens Shed was one of the first established in South Kerry an area strongly represented in the movement – with sheds in Cahirciveen, Killarney, Sneem and Castlemaine being very active. In Kenmare, the current membership comes from a huge variety of backgrounds and life experience and bring a great range of skills reflecting this in; building, carpentry, design, electrics, sailing, angling, wood-turning, veg gardening. For some their only skill is talking and this is just as welcome! We are very keen to have new ideas and skills brought in to broaden the appeal of the group. All members have a say and the small committee will work hard to facilitate all new developments to reflect the needs and wants of the group.
The CSO 2016 census for Kenmare town area shows that the male population has increased overall by 34% in past 10 years but more significantly those in the age group 55-85+ has jumped by 55% to approx. 320 men. When the surrounding rural areas within a 10-15 mile radius are added, it can be seen that there could be a much larger number of men who could get value from a Mens Shed.
We would like to thank all of those who offered us premises but which were unsuitable due to inaccessibility, rent, space, regulation etc. and those who gave good advice during the time. Special thanks to Susan at the Family Resource Centre who allowed us hold weekly get-togethers there for the past 2 years. Without this we know we could have seen member drift away. Instead we were able to hold together a core group who refused to give up and continued the search. Thanks too for the support and encouragement given by too many to name but especially the other mens shed in South Kerry mentioned above and South Kerry Development Partnership.
We will keep you up-to date with developments over the next few months through the Kenmare News. We will inform on opening days and times soon via our Facebook page: You can contact us through that page or by e-mail to Or better still pop in to see us at the Mart and maybe give us a hand with setting up the new premises.