Four Dublin entries awarded at .IE Digital Town Awards 2023

by Rose Barrett
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Four Dublin projects have been recognised for their efforts and commitment to digital innovation across four categories at this year’s .IE Digital Town Awards, writes Rose Barrett.

 .IE, the national registry for .ie domain names, announced the winning entries for the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 at a Gala event in Athlone last week. 

Clara Clarke from Blackrock founded Cycling Without Age in Dublin in 2017; she was awarded the Digital Local Hero Award and secured a prize fund of €3,000. Cycling without Age (CWA) is a sustainable, voluntary initiative using specially designed trishaws to take people unable to cycle for free, slow-cycling spins, piloted by volunteer pilots.  Clara has spent countless hours promoting and developing the organisation so that it can provide senior citizens and those with disabilities the opportunity to experience the joy and freedom of cycling.

Fingal’s Weather Stations for Schools project wowed judges in the Digital Education category, winning a prize fund of €6,000. Weather stations and rainfall gauges were distributed to 100 primary schools in Fingal, supporting them to collect real-time weather data which was then uploaded to Met Éireann’s weather observation website. Over 1,000 pupils attended workshops showcasing the data that had been collected while the EPA and NASA (in the US), hosted a live feed from Fingal schools on their websites.

Pictured is Kevin Vallely representing Weather Station for Schools, Fingal Dublin, Winner in Digital Education category at the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 alongside Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director, .IE Digital Town Programme.

The award for Digital Changemaker and a prize fund of €5,000, sponsored by Connected Hubs, went to Crumlin’s Clothes Exchange. Change Clothes Dublin is a clothes-swapping initiative to promote sustainable clothing solutions including re-learning skills such as mending, sewing and upcycling. Connecting Crumlin’s Community provided seed funding for the initiative; the investment was used to build a website which includes an event booking and equipment hire feature. The group uses social media and personalised email marketing to build awareness.  Preventing over 32 tonnes of carbon emissions, this local revolution has the ability to make a big impact. 

Tallaght’s The Positive Vibes Movement, which celebrates youth through creativity, art, poetry and music, was Highly Commended in the Digital Education category. The original art, poetry and music pieces are uploaded to a digital platform and sold as NFTs.  Through the ‘Give One Gift One’ programme, there is a charitable element, helping to support children and youth across a range of countries and causes.

In total, 22 town and community digital projects were recognised at this year’s .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 – winners and runners-up across the seven main categories, three special category winners and one overall prize winner. The.IE Digital Sustainability award was a new category introduced this year with Hollymount in Mayo announced as the winner with its Eco-Powered Cabinets which store life-saving equipment. 

This year’s category sponsors included Western Development Commission, Connected Hubs, and AIB Merchant Services with Vodafone as the overall presenting sponsor. 

Pictured is Clara Clarke, Blackrock, Dublin. Cycling Without Age, Winner in Digital Local Hero category at the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 alongside Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director, .IE Digital Town Programme.

Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director, .IE Digital Town Programme said ‘The quality of entries in this year’s .IE Digital Town Awards has been incredibly impressive.  Ireland’s towns and communities are identifying and solving connectivity challenges, driving digital innovation and developing creative digital solutions to enhance the lives of their fellow citizens.  This year 22 projects were recognised at the .IE Digital Town Awards Gala event, which add significantly to the lives of their local communities and improves our nation’s digital footprint.’  

Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Neale Richmond stated: “I want to congratulate all the winners of this year’s .IE Digital Town Awards. The 22 groups honoured at this year’s awards are great examples of how by embracing digitalisation, even small groups can make a big difference to their local communities, friends and neighbours. Congratulations again to all the winners, and thank you to every group that entered this year’s awards.”

Representing Vodafone, Sinéad Bryan, MD, Vodafone Business said: “At Vodafone, our goal is to be a connectivity and technology partner to our customers the length and breadth of Ireland. We are delighted to support the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 which cements our commitment to powering inclusion through technology and enabling a better Ireland through use of digital.”

Follow .IE on Twitter and at #DigitalTownAwards, see www.weare.ie 

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