Kilbeggan Men’s Shed’s first prize
The members of Kilbeggan Men’s Shed were celebrating last Wednesday, May 22, when they were awarded first prize in the Topline Shed Series, the biggest Men’s Shed craft exhibition in the world.
The Shed Series saw Men’s Sheds from throughout Ireland compete for a top prize, awarded to the winning entry by a panel of judges headed by nine-time Irish champion jockey Pat Smullen.
Kilbeggan Men’s Shed took first place in the final, and Smullen was hugely impressed by the standard of competition.
He said: “I’ve known about and supported Men’s Sheds for years, but I never realised the standard of skills and craftsmanship was so high.
“I’m just stunned by what I’ve seen today, and I’m delighted Topline and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association have given these lads such a great day out, because they deserve it.”
TP O’Gorman of Kilbeggan Men’s Sheds was happy to be taking first prize back to their Shed: “We are absolutely delighted; we cannot believe it.
“Our piece of work is map depicting the historical townlands of Kilbeggan – we used recycled wood to make it and we got great support from our local Topline in Mullingar Hardware.
“We recently lost one of our great friends in the Shed and this win is for him.”
The Shed Series, run jointly by Topline and the Irish Men’s Sheds Association, attracted almost 150 submissions from all corners of the country.
Those were whittled down to the 23 sheds which took part in the final.
Entrants were invited to reflect on the heritage and history of their communities and their local Topline stores’ places within them.
This year’s theme attracted a broad range of innovative, humorous and artistic entries, which gave the judges some tough decisions.
Pat Smullen was assisted in his judging endeavours by John Phelan of Topline Phelans and Mairead Lavery of NewsTalk.
All prizes were supplied by Topline as part of its ongoing partnership with Irish Men’s Sheds. The partnership, launched in 2018, has seen sheds benefit massively from Topline’s support for their community projects.