Information Age Targets the Future

The Clare Champion, Friday, April 2nd, 1999

The ultimate success of the Ennis Information Town project lies in the progress made in the use of new technologies over the next twelve months. That's the mission statement contained in the latest edition on the Information Age newsletter, which is to be circulated in 16,000 homes in the Ennis area this week.

This task for the next year has been set by 'technology town' Chief Executive, Michael Byrne. "The big question is how to use this technology for personal development, job opportunities and the greater economic good and social good".

According to Mr. Byrne the Information Age Town is now entering a new and dynamic phase. He compared it to a G.A.A. club that for many years lived with poor facilities but has now been equipped with every desirable amenity. "We are now deciding the type of game we need to play to ensure we will reach the level of excellence that will bring honour and glory to the home side", said Mr. Byrne.

As part of this development the project co-ordinators have decided to make a newsletter a permanent feature of the Information Age Town output. "It is vital that we communicate directly with each house-hold in Ennis. We issued our first newsletter last November as a trial and the feedback was so positive that we decided to continue with this means of directly informing the people of Ennis", said the 'technology town' assistant CEO, Triona McInerney.

The newsletter covers a number of interesting topics, including a feature on Ennis West Partners, a local development group committed to issues of exclusion and unemployment. Anthony Daly gives his views on Business and the Internet while one can learn about EVE, the Ennis Virtual Exhibition that includes the first art gallery on the Ennis web site.

Two appointments to the staff of IAT are covered in the newsletter. Rita McInerney from Doonbeg has been appointed Business Liaison Officer. Rita is a graduate of NUIG and will work with small businesses and assist in delivering real benefits to this sector. Already there has been extensive consultation with the business community and a budget of 2 million has been earmarked to assist with a number of programmes.

The project has appointed Trevor Ryan as Webmaster for the Ennis web site. He will concentrate on providing new services to encourage further use of the site. "The web site has developed over the past three months as a significant local information source. More and more Ennis residents are using the community page to see what events are coming up", said Triona McInerney.

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