Teddy the Bernese Mountain Dog pictured with his cart and members of the Ballyshannon Men's Shed.
Before you jump to any conclusions you should know that his name is Teddy and he’s a Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs were bred on the Swiss Alps as general farm dogs and were used to pull carts.
How Teddy from Fermanagh got hitched up with this cart made by the Men’s Shed in Ballyshannon is another story.
Last March Catherine Kelm, Teddy’s doting owner, could see that that there was something missing in his life. His breeding wanted to come out and he needed a cart to play with.
She contacted Gabriel Fee [second from the right in the photo] to enquire if Ballyshannon Men’s Shed could help.
What followed was much discussion, research, questions about animal welfare and of course determining if the shed had the skills and means to design, realise and deliver what was required.
Fortunately their members includes experts in Joinery [Liam Walsh third from the left], Painting [Seamus Martin fourth from the left] and dog lover [Robert Lawn second from the left].
Another key player, not in the photo was Patsy Quinn who fabricated the metal chassis.
Others in the photo are: Shed founder and Chairman Paddy Donagher [on the left], Roly Gallagher, Mike Lynch, Bob Kennedy and John Magee.
Liam Walsh enthusiastically took on the role of project co-ordinator and the end result is a cart for Teddy that all in Ballyshannon Men's Shed are very proud of.
Ballyshannon Men’s Shed History
Ballyshannon Men’s Shed was formed following a public meeting called by Paddy Donagher on the 8th February 2016 in Kilbarron Pastoral Centre College Street, Ballyshannon.
The attendees heard of the purpose behind the Men’s Shed movement and of the experiences gained from visits to Men’s Sheds in Sligo and Killybegs.
There was unanimous and enthusiastic endorsement for the proposal to set up a Men’s Shed in Ballyshannon and a committee was formed.
Within weeks, thanks to Paddy’s energy, vision and network, the Shed had acquired the use of a prefab behind the Adult Education and Training Centre, some tools and benches from Coláiste Choimcille and embarked on the task of transforming a derelict unit into a welcoming, well kitted out workshop and recreation area.
The transformation of the prefab was achieved through the various skills of members which included plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters, builders etc.
The committee also embarked in a fundraising campaign applying to various public bodies such a DLDC, Councillors and local businesses.
The success of this campaign as well as individual donations was unexpected and has allowed us to purchase many items of woodworking equipment to provide the basis for a core activity for members.
They have developed a constitution, they are members of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association and they have full membership with a substantial waiting list.
They say “as we mature we hope to acquire more space and expand our portfolio of activities and increase membership.
“We are always happy to share our experiences with others and help them form their own Men’s Shed to suit their own unique communities.”