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Silver surfer Michael Gorman and well-known radio broadcaster and rugby analyst, George Hook, at the launch of the 2014 awards. Photograph by Marc O'Sullivan

Clare’ silver surfers take up IT challenge

The search in on to find Clare’s top Silver Surfers.  This follows the launch  by Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte  of the 2014 Google Silver Surfer Awards with Age Action, in Dublin on Tuesday.

Google and Age Action are asking people across Clare to nominate a friend, neighbour or relative, who has embraced technology and made it part of their daily life. Be it connecting with loved ones on the other side of the world, arranging travel plans or using it to pay the bills, more and more of the over 50s in Ireland are taking to the online world and Google and Age Action want to highlight their achievements.

Previous winners from Clare include 96-year-old, Catherine Talty from Clounlaheen in West Clare. She was the winner of the Golden IT Award in 2012.

After several visits from a local history group, Cuimhneamh an Chláir(CAC) who would record Catherine’s stories about times gone by, Catherine suggested that she would learn how to use a digital recorder herself. She has since contributed 83 separate files on folklore and tradition from the mid-1800s to the 1970s to the CAC archive.

At the launch in Google headquarters,  Mr Rabbitte said “The internet and digital applications are now central to our lives. They empower people in so many ways. Too many older people are still missing out on these opportunities. The Government wants to ensure that no one is left behind. Telling older people about the opportunities available to them online is important, but showing them is even better. That’s why I am a strong supporter of the Silver Surfer awards an inspiration to others that there is so much for them online and it’s never too late to learn.”

Sinead Gibney, scial action manager, Google said, “The online world is place that everyone should feel comfortable with and enjoy and by honouring some of Ireland’s best examples of Silver Surfers, we hope that many more older people will be encourage to get online.”

Robin Webster, CEO of Age Action added, “Through our experience teaching thousands of first-time users how to use a computer and get online, we have seen the transformative effect which new technology has had in dramatically enhancing the quality of older people’s lives.

To nominate a person for the awards log on to fwww.ageaction.ie/silversurfer <http://www.ageaction.ie/silversurfer.

The winners of the Google Silver Surfer Awards with Age Action will be announced at an award ceremony on the 20th of October at Google Headquarters in Dublin.


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