Irish President officially opens Dominick Street Digital Community Centre

- Dominick Street Locals gets wired up with first-ever Community Project -

DUBLIN, Ireland, May 28, 2004 - The President of Ireland Mary McAleese today officially opened a state-of the-art Digital Community Centre in Dominick Street Flat Complex, Dublin 1. The Digital Community Centre is the first-ever community initiative in Dominick Street. It is one of 11 centres set up as part of the Digital Community Project - a joint initiative of Dublin Institute of Technology and Hewlett Packard.


The President of Ireland Mary McAleese

Started in 2003, the Digital Community Project is based in areas across Dublin's inner-city where access to computers is severely limited. The project is designed to reduce educational disadvantage and to help Dublin inner-city communities participate in the digital age. Through access to information technology and exposure to the educational system it also hopes to provide increased job opportunities for residents.

The Digital Community Centres consist of one to two dedicated flats within each complex. Each room is fitted out with computers, printers, scanners, access to high speed DSL lines and free internet connection. The computer room is managed by members of the community who have been trained in the necessary IT and management skills. There is also a full time manager on-hand, to co-ordinate the Centre and help train local residents.


President McAleese, having opened the new community computer room in Dominick Street flats, with Peter Byrne, DIT Community Links Manager, Gerard Carney, Dominick Street community representative, and Dr. Tommy Cooke, DIT Community Links

According to local resident, Mr. Gerard Carney; 'Dominick Street, with a current unemployment rate of 78%, is delighted to benefit from the Project. Due to a lack of educational programmes in the area, this new facility will be of great assistance to our community and will go a long way in tackling the Digital Divide'. Other high density flat complexes, across Dublin's Inner-City have also benefited from the project including Bridgefoot Street, St. Teresa's Gardens, Fatima Mansions, Iveagh Trust, Charlemont Street, Whitefriar Street, O'Devaney Gardens and Michael Malin House.


President Mc Aleese participating in an interview with students of Brunswick Street school.

The Digital Community Project is unique as it successfully brings together a multiparty partnership of the business, educational, government and community sectors that fund and support the initiative. The partnership includes DIT, Hewlett Packard, the Dublin Inner City Partnership, the Digital Hub, National Centre for Technology in Education, Eircom, and Dublin City Council. It is sponsored by Microsoft, CD VEC, Prodigy and Intuition.

Dr Thomas Cooke, Head of DIT's Community Links Programme, speaking at the launch today said, "As a result of the Project these communities will benefit from advances in information technology which serve as a vehicle for skill development, job creation, information access, improved communications and collaboration. Due to the commitment, dedication and funding from all the partners and sponsors involved, the Digital Community Project will influence greatly the way residents of these communities live, learn and earn."


Young residents of Dominick Street flats try out the new computer facilities in the Digital Community project.

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