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29 Sept 2022

Men’s Shed Carn launch new ‘storytelling’ project on history of farming in Inishowen

Men’s Shed Carn launch new ‘storytelling’ project on history of farming in Inishowen

Hugh Gordon ploughing the fields in Clonmany in the 1950s

Men’s Shed Carn has launched a new ‘storytelling’ project which will focus on the history of farming in Inishowen (both past and present), later this month.

Storytelling is such a major part of rural life in Donegal (particularly in the longer winter months) and the new farming history project aims to keep this rich tradition alive through a series of eight free sessions running up until January 2023.

Funded by the Development Fund Initiative (DFI) at Donegal County Council and supported by local councillors Johnny McGuinness, Martin McDermott and Albert Doherty, the first of the free storytelling sessions will be led by genealogist Jennifer Doherty from Clonmany.

Deborah Shiels, Project Co-ordinator of the new storytelling project in the Men’s Shed Carn said: “Sharing farming stories with friends, neighbours and our younger generation is a great way of creating social bonds – like in our not-too-distant past when local homes would fill up with young and old alike to listen to tales until the early hours.

“Indeed, this important sharing of farming stories has helped create lifelong friendships in the past and it can also help in terms of our mental health and wellbeing today – or simply put it’s good for our souls!

“We’re therefore hoping to get the wider community involved in exploring their local farming heritage – an original idea that came from the men in the Shed themselves.

“The aim is to get both young and older members of the community involved and sharing their stories, rekindling friendships and exploring farming throughout the years – and still in many cases today.

“We’d also like people in the local community to be aware of the interest others have in what they have to say and the importance that their personal input would have in our ongoing storytelling sessions.

“We are also intending to work closely with local genealogists and heritage groups to open up these events throughout the wider Inishowen peninsula.”

Deborah added: “I’d also like to take this opportunity to not only encourage people to attend our storytelling sessions but also to bring along and share their old photos or memorabilia from the bygone days of farming in Inishowen – which we’ll then collect to form an exhibition in the final week of our project.

“Importantly, as a main aim of the Men’s Shed project is to support, assist and engage men from the local area, we’re hoping the input from the community during these storytelling sessions will also open up ideas for future training, interaction and activities in the Shed.”

The project begins with an ‘introductory session’ from 7.00-9.00pm on Thursday, September 29 in their premises on the Moville Road.

For further information on the new storytelling project in the Men’s Shed Carn email mens.shed.carn@gmail.com or phone Deborah Shiels on 0838422088.

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