A group of Fine Gael MEPs have jointly nominated the Irish Men’s Sheds Association for the 2018 European Citizen’s Prize. The prestigious award recognises projects or individuals that promote cross-border cooperation and EU values.

The group of MEPs consist of Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Hayes and Deirdre Clune. On behalf of the delegation, Seán Kelly said: “Having met with and spoken at many of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association events, I am delighted that the Fine Gael delegation has put forward this very positive community-based initiative for the European Citizen’s Prize.”
In proposing the Men’s Sheds for the accolade, the Fine Gael delegation said the movement “has distinguished itself in strengthening European integration”.
“Their motto is Men don’t talk face to face. They talk shoulder to shoulder. The Men’s Sheds creates a space where men can discuss health issues and emotions while engaging in purposeful activities.
“This advances the health and well-being of the participating men by combating issues such as loneliness and isolation while creating a culture where men can openly discuss their thoughts and feelings without stigma.
“It has shown how integration is one of its key values by being a dedicated, friendly and welcoming meeting place where men, regardless of age, background or ability, come together and undertake a variety of mutually agreed activities.
“These activities include carpentry, bike and vehicle repairs, upholstery, gardening, beekeeping, painting, singing, developing IT skills, and playing cards,” the four MEPs stated in their official nomination.
The Irish association is part of a larger network of Men’s Sheds organisations in England, Scotland, Wales, Finland, and Greece thereby inducing European cohesion and it provides information, resources and support for others to set up their own Sheds.
“Together with the other European branches, it is strengthening European integration and so we are delighted to nominate them for this prize,” said the MEPs.
The European Citizen’s Prize celebrates projects and initiatives that facilitate cross-border cooperation or promote mutual understanding and EU values.
Winners will be announced later this year ahead of an official prize-giving ceremony at the European Parliament, Brussels in October.