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Ayrfield Men’s Shed Oct 2020

Hard to believe we are still at home, but the last few months have been safely spent.

During the summer members who attended meetings stuck rigidly to the rules regarding the Coronavirus epidemic, by wearing face masks and keeping two metres apart. On the Tuesday of Jack Charlton’s funeral in July, as a tribute to the great man, we stood up and sang a rousing rendition of ‘Ole Ole Ole Ole….ole…ole…we’re all part of Jackie’s army etc etc.’

Not long after the death of Jimmy Kelly, we Shedmen were shocked again by the passing of one of our esteemed colleagues, Patrick Dowling. Paddy was a gifted musician and had a very pleasant disposition. With his guitar skills, he helped to found a folk group with two other members. They practiced regularly in the back room of the community centre, and had a large repertoire of popular songs and country and western ballads. One of my favourites was Country Roads. As is our custom, we formed a guard of honour, wearing our Shedmen jackets, as the hearse was departing from St Paul’s church, Ayrfield. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Later in summer we welcomed our two new voluntary tea makers, Charlie Brennan and Christy Dunne, and also appreciate our chairman George Skelton, who hovers around helping out during the 3 o’clock break. Bowling continued for a while with restrictions and had to be booked in advance at the Plex in Coolock.

When we did have meetings, pool games were played as usual, but this time with social distancing in place. It’s a good game at this time. In September, the group enjoyed a couple of meetings in safe circumstances. Members such as myself don’t go every week, because of restrictions. Tommy Clarke, one of our great raconteurs, has been keeping the group up to speed with his witty emails. Recently, Tommy sent us an email from Barry Sheridan, who is the CEO of the Irish Men’s Shed Association. This email contained regulations and advice for Shedmen. One of the recommendations was to call vulnerable shed mates who might be isolated. This is important at this time. Shed meetings are on hold at present, and we will await further news in due time.

Tommy also sent us a link to a Zoom call with Professor Luke O’Neill (of immunology) answering questions from Shedmen about the seriousness of the virus.

On behalf of the Ayrfield Men’s Shed, thank you for keeping us informed Tommy.

John Fahey

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