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.
.IE, the national registry for .ie domain names, announced the winning entries for the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 at a Gala event held at the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone today.
The awards were created by .IE in 2021, as part of a broader four-year €1 million investment in the .IE Digital Town Programme encouraging the uptake and use of internet and digital technologies for businesses, citizens and communities.
The awards recognise and reward digitally inspired projects run by towns and local community groups.
Each year the .IE Digital Town Awards offer a prize fund of €100,000 which is split across several categories.
Clara Clarke from Blackrock, Co. Dublin, who founded Cycling Without Age in Dublin in 2017, 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. Since the foundation of CWA, 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 Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA in the US, hosted a live feed from Fingal schools on their websites.
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. Local group, Connecting Crumlin’s Community, provided seed funding for the initiative and the investment was used to build a website which includes an events booking and equipment hire feature. The group is using 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.
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 said “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, Managing Director, 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.”
More information on the .IE Digital Town Awards can be found here