Finalists: Digital Local Hero

Clara Clark – Cycling without Age, Blackrock

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 Clark brought Cycling Without Age to Ireland in 2017 and since then has 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. Aged 71, Clara remains passionate about Cycling Without Age and determined to see it grow.

Maeve McGrath – Creative communities, Limerick

Maeve McGrath strives to bring digital learning to the forefront in the Midwest. Working with The GAFF/Creative Communities Midwest, Maeve works with young people in audio recordings and smartphone film making. She curated a digital audio project, Tiny Little Histories, which works with community groups and artists to tell untold stories from the Midwest. In 2022, Maeve was producer on TravFest, a Traveller Wellness Festival that featured film, audio, visual art and music. Maeve is passionate about teaching people of all ages the benefits of digital engagement.

Michael McGuire – Louisburgh Foróige tech room

Michael has been a leader in Louisburgh Foróige club for 10 years. His passion and drive have enabled the club to provide top of the range high tech equipment in the Tech Space for the community. Michael has an amazing ability to drive a project, solving problems as they arise and, without his knowledge the club would not have a website or their social media platforms. He has helped to provide a safe, happy, and educational outlet where young people can participate and contribute to their community.

Miriam Spollen – Creative TY Connections, Rathgar

Since its inception in April 2021, Connections Art Centre has become a thriving creative hub with inclusivity at its core. Founder Miriam Spollen, who has over 20 years’ experience as well as a lived experience of disability herself, has a keen sense of what success looks like. She has pioneered projects showcasing the capability of the disability community to engage with technology, something which was previously underestimated. She has nurtured a safe, supportive space which allows its members to blossom through creative programmes in the areas of art, music, lifestyle and training.

Val Robus – Heart of Ireland, Coolaney

Val is passionate about the power of digital and how it can enhance the community. Her Heart of Ireland campaign had people from all over the world joining in and sharing their images and videos of Ireland. Val has also written several blog posts to highlight community groups and is a promoter of social inclusion, community, and social enterprises. She has passion and drive and most of all positivity, and believes in encouraging and helping people whenever possible.