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Kieran Martin of Shareridge Civil Engineering, tries his hand at horse show throwing. Photograph by John Kelly

It’s shoe-time for Ennis Men’s Shed

IT won’t quite sound like the thunder of hooves at a race meeting but the clatter of horseshoes will reverberate around Ennis Men’s Shed facility at Doora on this Sunday afternoon.
The occasion will be a fun horseshoe pitching event to mark the opening of the latest addition to the recreational amenities at the sprawling site, which encompasses an orchard, a meditation and contemplative corner, a biodiversity garden, two ponds and a fernery featuring rare trees native to New Zealand.
Running from midday to around 3pm, the event will afford members and others from men’s shed in Clare the opportunity to experience the sport of horseshoe pitching, which in bygone days was very popular in town and villages around the country.
“With the emphasis on fun, anybody can test their skills without having to worry unduly about the formal rules,” said Con Corry, who has been leading the horseshoe green project. “When we get to the know the rules a bit better we will consider hosting a competition for men’s sheds groups from the Clare area,” he added.
In addition, members of the public will also be invited to explore the various sections of the impressive garden which has been hewn out of the former Ennis municipal dump. Con explained how the horseshoe green has been developed with plenty of sweat from members and no little financial support.
“Beforehand the area was just a mess, very marshy. We built it up with layers of fill, compost, topsoil and sand before seeding; it’s about two feet above the original level. A pathway and road around the green gives it a great finish,” he said.
The horseshoe green was developed with €2,000 grant aid under the national Creative Counties Project, which is promoted by Clare County Council. Engagement officer, Eve Birdthistle said the local authority was proud to continue its strong involvement with the men’s shed, noting the horseshoe green had both a recreational and environmental dimension.
Con said the men’s shed appreciated the support it has received from the council executive and elected members since its inception. He also lauded the support of civil engineering contractor Kieran Martin who provided materials to the value of €5,000 for the latest project at Doora.
“We have more than seventy members and they can get involved in projects in the garden or workshop or, if they like, just walk around the grounds and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the setting,” Con concluded.

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