Limerick men and their sheds needed for study

Fulbright Scholar Melinda Heinz at the TUS campus in Moylish.

IT’S long been recognised that the Mens Sheds movement has provided a place for men to meet, work together, enjoy company and support very useful projects in their local community.

Now Men’s Shed members from across Limerick are encouraged to participate in a research study by Limerick-based Fulbright scholar Dr Melinda Heinz, that will explore how the Sheds promote a sense of purpose and meaning.

The project will not only provide insight into the impact of Men’s Sheds on society, but will also provide a rich history of the association which opened its first shed in Ireland ten years ago.

An associate professor at Upper Iowa University in the United States, Dr Heinz chose to undertake the study after holidaying in Ireland and is currently working at the Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), Moylish Campus in Limerick researching the topic and gathering data.

Dr Heinz said “My interest in Men’s Sheds began several years ago when I visited a shed in Dundalk. The men there showed me around their garden, art studio, and woodworking shop. I was fascinated by the projects they were engaged in as well as the sense of community among the men. I wanted to find a way to study the Men’s Shed phenomenon. The Fulbright Scholar programme provided me an opportunity to do that, in partnership with TUS.”

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“During my time in Ireland, I will be conducting one-on-one interviews with shed participants in Limerick, to learn more about how participating in Men’s Sheds contributes to purpose and meaning for men.

Participants will be asked to consent to the public archiving of audio, video, and photographic files at Technological University of the Shannon and my home institution – Upper Iowa University libraries for the public preservation of Men’s Shed history,” she explained.

To get involved in the project, Men’s Shed members are asked to contact Dr Melinda Heinz by emailing [email protected]