MALES Ireland is an organistion consisting of a number of men's groups on the island of Ireland. As my experience of MALES is limited to their Rathfarnham men's group, the following is my take on that particular group. For information about the other groups of MALES, go to their website at The Male Journey
MALE's 'Rathfarnham Group' is a men's group that meets on the third Saturday of each month from 10am to 1pm. It meets in a community centre close to Marley Park Rathfarnham (Hermitage Downs, Dublin 16). It is an 'open group', meaning any man can turn up to these meetings without any need for notifying anyone (average attendance is around 15).
The format of this men's group meeting is - like most of the men's groups listed here - informal, relaxed and non-hierarchical. To create the type of atmosphere that allows men to leave the busy, 'heady' world outside, a small bit of drumming takes place before meetings and generally most men join in. Of course you don't have to take part but if you do want to, small bodhrans and other small drums are provided. Members of MALES take turns in facilitating the meetings and so sometimes men introduce certain themes into the proceedings - such as the seasons, or Christmas, Fathers Day etc. The central feature of the meetings however, is the men's circle. Here men sit in a circle - signifying the lack of hierarchy and 'authority' - where men have the opportunity to say what's on their mind or what's going on in their life or pretty much anything else he might want to say. No one comments on another man's contribution. After everyone has spoken or had the opportunity to speak - you can of course decline to say anything - the meeting usually wraps up with a small ritual and because we usually finish around lunchtime, and there's good food locally, some of us then head off for a carvery or bowl of soup.
A donation of around 10Euro is requested if you have it.
MALES Ireland hold regular gatherings and every couple of years a national 'Rites of Passage' event. See the Meetings & Events Page of this Site for details of upcoming MALES Ireland meetings and events or contact: 0872238470/ firstname.lastname@example.org