The Sister Sheds
At the Killinarden Sister Sheds were Margaritta, Maria, Melissa, Antoinette, Sherin, Nicola, Aoife and Catriona

The Sister Sheds

EVERY Tuesday morning a group of women gather in the restaurant above the Mace in Killinarden to build friendships, learn new skills and empower each other.

The Killinarden group is one of seven Sister Sheds – including one in Ballyfermot and one in Jobstown, while there are plans for another in Bluebell – that were founded by Sherin and Rachel Hughes.

The two cousins started Sister Sheds in October 2021, when they noticed an absence of social outlets for women during the pandemic – and they discovered there was a strong appetite for groups of this nature.

Sherin, who is from Jobstown, told The Echo: “Sister Sheds’ first group started in October 2021 and grew from there.

“The idea was discussed off the back of me and Rachel talking about how women need to be able to get support from each other, and how much women need sisters and friends, and an outlet to discuss all kinds of life situations.

“I myself had gone through a hard time a few years back after losing my mother Dympna, who was a very well-known medium in Ireland and a support to many communities, and losing my father too in the same year.

“I remember times were hard, and even though I had a massive support network with friends and family, it was still really hard to deal with.

“Then we rolled into the pandemic and I mentioned how hard it might be on so many women who struggle in so many situations, plus the pandemic didn’t help friendships and get-togethers.

“So, after talking to my cousin Rachel, we went ahead and put a post on Facebook about Sister Sheds and it blew up, which showed groups for supporting each other – groups that were in safe environments discussing the highs and lows of life – were definitely needed.

“That’s when we started reaching out for support in areas that could offer us a space, and it took off from there.”

Fourteen women currently attend the Killinarden Sister Shed, and across all the groups a total of 63 women attend on a regular basis.

The groups continue to grow at a steady pace, and Sherin and Rachel hope to build on this in the coming weeks and months by adding more activities to the Sister Sheds.

Rachel told The Echo: “Since October we have brainstormed the best outcome for all involved, and that’s to first of all create the sense of sisterhood which we see in all of our Sister Sheds; trust, support, and information.

“Our future vision now is to introduce holistic therapy such as reiki, meditation, a course for mental health called WRAP, discussions that lift us up, self-awareness, life coaching and hopefully family days out for mothers and children, and get together as friends.

“We ask the ladies what they want and what they need, what we aim to achieve in our lives to be the best we can be, and we empower each other to do that as much as possible.

“Sister Sheds is a foundation for friendships and community spirit, and much more.”

The community spirit in the Tallaght Sister Sheds is evident in the involvement of Tallaght-based group A Helping Hand, which supports those in need, and has provided a space for the Sister Shed.

Katrina O’Hara from A Helping Hand added: “After meeting Sherin and Rachel for the first time, I wanted to get involved immediately after hearing their ambitions for the group. We have teamed up to support each other going forward.

“This group is very close to my heart. I feel it’s extremely unique from other groups I have attended in the past, and is a great asset to the community.

“It’s something we need as women, and I genuinely look forward to every Tuesday morning with Sherin and my new sisters, and the power each woman gives each other.

“We may come in crying some mornings, but Sherin will make sure you leave laughing and full of hope, light, love, and strength. Being a part of the group brings a great sense of trust and support.”

This is also reflected in Sherin’s own experience in the Sister Sheds, which she finds hugely enriching and fulfilling. She hopes to grow it even further on a national scale.

“I can honestly say setting up the Sister Sheds is the best move we’ve ever made,” said Sherin.

“We are full of gratitude for the support of everyone involved, and humbled meeting these women on a weekly basis.

“To see the same women attending every week, and newcomers, it’s overwhelming. We will do our very best to keep Sister Sheds growing in Ireland and hope to have at least one in every community.”

The Killinarden Sister Shed meets upstairs in Mace every Tuesday morning at 10am, while the Jobstown Sister Shed meets in An Cosán every Tuesday evening at 7.30pm. The Ballyfermot Sister Shed is held in the Civic Centre every Thursday afternoon from midday.

For further information visit the Sister Sheds’ Facebook group at

To register your attendance at one of the Sister Sheds, email

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