Revival of 'Hands-On' Traditional Skills in Ireland

Female and male participants at a Blacksmithy workshop in Galway city
A recent blacksmithy workshop is part of a growing resurgence in Ireland of interest in traditional skills and crafts that were almost wiped out by what seemed an almost unstoppable march towards 'hands-off' modernity during the Celtic Tiger years.

One of the protagonists in this heritage revival in Galway city is the Cumann na bhFear (Irish = 'Company of Men') volunteer group which is modeled on the Australian Men’s Shed movement with the addition of a strong community, social inclusion and heritage ethos in recognition of the interests of the membership.
The primary role of the group is to encourage retired, working and unemployed men of all ages to help each other develop, learn and/or teach skills and crafts that can benefit themselves and the wider community. There is a focus on the provision of practical skills whose existence was endangered by a modern society where the ability to make or repair everyday items was been devalued. Hence the members provide courses and workshops on traditional Irish heritage crafts such as woodturning, beekeeping, woodcarving, basket making, blacksmithing, drystone walling, nature studies as well as other areas of benefit including electronics, web design, cycle maintenance, orienteering, soldering, panel beating, metal fabrication, furniture restoration and plumbing.

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