Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (574)

Declan Breathnach


574. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if he will consider providing funding of €1,000,000 over a three year period to an association (details supplied); if he will consider a multi-departmental approach to the awarding of such funding; if his attention has been drawn to the benefits that would accrue from this small investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39663/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Rural)

Men’s Sheds have become central to some 400 communities throughout Ireland. They provide an invaluable service, strengthening communities by bringing people together and helping to tackle social isolation.  My Department provides a broad range of supports to the Irish Men’s Sheds Association and its members. 

The Irish Men’s Sheds Association is funded under the current iteration of the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO). The SSNO is a key element of my Department's support for the role of the Community and Voluntary sector in contributing to the development of a strong and vibrant civil society.  The Irish Men’s Sheds Association has been allocated €269,998 over the 36 month period of the scheme.   

My Department also provides support directly to the member sheds of Irish Men’s Sheds Association.  Under the 2018 Community Enhancement Programme, I ring fenced €500,000 for grant funding for these groups.  Each shed that applied was grant aided.  The same amount was ring fenced for Men’s and Women’s Sheds in 2019.   

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) provided support to 125 Men’s Sheds and 13 grants totaling €12,520 to Men’s Sheds groups to date in 2019.   

The LEADER 2014-2020 Programme continues to support the development of Men’s Sheds, with 4 projects totaling €54,622 being approved in 2019. 

It is clear that my Department already provides a wide range of financial supports for Men's Sheds.  There are no plans to increase this funding to the level referenced by the Deputy.