Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that a 7% cut to funding to the Irish Men’s Sheds Association will severely hamper the organisation’s ability to support men.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony was commenting after receiving a parliamentary reply to a question she asked following concerns raised with her by a number of local men’s sheds bodies.

“The HSE has informed me that a cut of €18,700 has been ordered following a decision of the Government to apply cuts to Section 39 Grant Aid Funding and to the Health and Wellbeing Division.

“This will have an impact on the ability of the national association to support local men’s sheds clubs across the country, and here in West Cork.

“Enhanced funding had been secured for 2017 but the cut to its 2018 budget is really damaging as it scuppers the ability of the organisation to plan for expansion.

“Men’s Sheds play a really important role in reaching out to men who might not normally come into contact with services that offer services in public and mental health support.

“Anything we can do to reach this highly vulnerable group of people that all too often are do not discuss challenges they face must not be limited by funding cuts.

“It’s disappointing that cuts made by Fine Gael in government are seeing reductions which will inhibit the ability of great organisations such as the Men’s Sheds Association. They must be reversed if we are to properly deal with isolation amongst the most vulnerable in our country,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.