Blog | .ie Digital Town Awards Winners and Runners Up 2023

by Ally Smith
24 May 2023

Our 2023 Gala Event was held in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone with Jess Kelly, Technology Correspondent, Newstalk as MC.

Our CEO, David Curtin addressed the audience at our first in-person awards ceremony and our National Director .IE Digital Town Programme, Oonagh McCutcheon announced the category winners and runners-up, along with our sponsors.

Check out the highlights from the day and hear about all of the amazing work being carried out by communities across Ireland.

Overall Winner

Clonmel, Co. Tipperary was crowned the overall winner of the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023.

The town was chosen from the category winners as overall winner. In addition to winning the Agri-tech category prize, Clonmel was awarded the additional overall winner prize.

Pictured left to right is Sinead Bryan, Managing Director, Vodafone Business; Tina Mulhearne, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary; Oonagh McCutcheon, National Director .IE Digital Town Programme

Digital Sustainability Winner Hollymount, Co. Mayo

Eco-powered Cabinets


Two eco-powered cabinets have been installed on Croagh Patrick, to securely store defibrillators and life-saving medications to treat cardiac arrests. The reliable cabinets are powered by solar energy so they don’t require a main power supply and they can be seen from up to 6 miles away via an infrared LED light. Heat sensors are used to monitor temperature levels which are transmitted in real-time to a mobile device. The cabinets have geolocation capability which is vital for emergency services.

Digital Sustainability Runner-up Nationwide



This project maps illegal dumping and aims to reduce it by showing the positive impact of litter-picking. The tidy towns’ teams use the App which allows them tag litter into over 130 categories. Researchers can then identify the biggest causes of litter, including that by corporate brands. It provides a digital tool that can visualise litter problems within the local and wider community. It helps interested companies fulfil their ESG commitments in a meaningful way for example, allowing staff time off to engage in litter-picking activities. The tool uses AI to make data collection easier and Artificial Reality – similar to Pokemon Go for visualisation.

Digital Sustainability Commended Tinahely, Co. Wicklow

The Bee Sanctuary


This bee sanctuary was set up to tackle the biodiversity crisis and raise awareness of the current threats to bees. The website has a booking feature for farm tours. With clever use of Twitter hashtags the bee sanctuary has reached a global audience. Now featuring in the Metaverse, they continue to educate the public on sustainability practices. Within 5 years, they have gone from a ‘bricks and mortar’ project advocating for bees and nature locally to a digitally focused project with international reach

Agri-tech Winner

Clonmel, Co. Tipperary

Smart Skills for Farming Communities


This programme was developed to help farmers use new technologies to make their work easier, save time and money as well as improving the sustainability and profitability of their farm. 60% of farmers report that there are barriers to digital training and supports.  This project addresses that problem by providing very practical digital training in areas such as soil fertility technology; grassland management technology; tech for time and labour saving; and farm management systems and useful Apps. This project addresses the digital skills gap amongst farmers and helps them access digital technologies that hold the key for a smarter, more competitive and resource-efficient agricultural sector.

Agri-tech Runner-up

Achonry, Co. Sligo

Farmer’s Market


The GAA club at Achonry, Co Sligo developed a farmer’s market as a way to provide a safe outdoor outlet for community social interaction and to raise funds for community facilities. The project has been a great success, attracting a loyal following from traders, shoppers and neighbours.  They made extensive use of social media, their website, and online platforms like TripAdvisor and Google to promote the market.  Their Facebook page has WhatsApp integration which allows customers reserve products from a stall – effectively a ‘click and collect’ service. Mobile payments are taken through SumUp.  The market provides a vital social outlet and loyal customers volunteer to write blogs about their purchases, which in turn promotes the opportunity for off-farm income generation.

Digital Education Winner

Fingal, Co. Dublin

School’s Weather Stations real-time data collection


Weather stations and rainfall gauges were distributed to 100 primary schools in Fingal to allow them collect real-time weather data. This data is then uploaded to Met Éireann’s weather observation website. One of the benefits is that more accurate and local data is gathered e.g. in relation to wind speeds and flooding.  Over 1,000 pupils attended workshops showcasing the data that has been collected. The Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA in the US, host a live feed from Fingal schools on their websites. Putting technology in the hands of children helps them understand and engage with issues relating to climate change.

Digital Education Runner-up Carndonagh, Co. Donegal

Unleashing Digital Creativity


Young people in rural Donegal faced educational disadvantage. Spraoi agus Spórt, a social enterprise, opened the Digital Creative Lab where young people use digital fabrication to bring their ideas and creativity to life. This shows them what digital skills, design entrepreneurship and engineering can offer for their future. It has been rolled out across national and secondary schools in the county and there are high hopes for the contribution of STEM to future job opportunities.


Digital Education Commended Skibbereen, Co. Cork

Training workforce returnees


This is a digital skills training programme for workforce returnees, usually women who have taken career leave for family reasons, to re-enter local and remote employment. The key focus is on ICT and digital literacy as well as networking, communications and team-building. Training is delivered in workshops and content is available through the Learning Management System (LMS).  The programme address the often unseen cohort of latent talent that can contribute to the economy with the right up-skilling.

Digital Education Commended

Tallaght, Dublin

Dublin ‘The Positive Vibes Movement’


The Positive Vibes Movement celebrates youth through creativity, art, poetry and music.  Once created, the original 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.  Small actions with big impact.

Digital Tourism Winner

Dunlewey, Co. Donegal

Digital History and Heritage

Dunlewey developed a digital project to showcase the history and heritage of the village and surrounding area. Key points of interest were identified for a heritage trail. It used storymaps, online exhibitions, online heritage trails and interactive maps. The oral tradition of older people and local farmers was captured – including names of places, lakes and fields – and recorded for future generations. Original records such as school registration books, were photographed and digital books created. Virtual tours of the local landscape were created. Digital has allowed the story of Dunlewey to be shared with locals and visitors alike.

Digital Tourism category is sponsored by AIB Merchant Services

Digital Tourism Runner-up Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford

The Maria Edgeworth Centre in the Digital Age


The Edgeworth family were respected educationalists, inventors, writers and supporters of social change who hosted famous visitors such as Sir Walter Scott and William Wordsworth amongst others. A museum dedicated to Maria Edgeworth contains many interesting artefacts which have now been digitised with the help of the Bodleian Library & National Library of Ireland, as part of the digital strategy to bring the museum to a wider audience. A new website was developed, social media accounts set up, interactive digital blackboards installed, a POS system developed and training in design software provided. The Maria Edgeworth museum enters the digital age!

Digital Tourism category is sponsored by AIB Merchant Services

Community Digital Winner

Rossmore, Co. Tipperary

Rossmore Scratchers Rural Connectivity


The installation of a Broadband Connection Point (BCP) was a game changer for Rossmore. It enabled Rossmore Scratchers, a coding club, to provide a space for digital projects through STEAM for children and adults alike. It is volunteer-led, has diverse community involvement, a clear understanding of community needs, all of which is managed on a limited budget. A great example of a community being given the digital tools, and taking it from there.

Community Digital category is sponsored by Western Development Commission

Community Digital Runner-up Nationwide

Turn2Me suicide charity


Turn2Me offers counselling and peer support through a fully online, digital platform. All services are provided for free which is only made possible because of the digital nature of the service. Barriers such as cost, waiting lists and travel time were all removed by using the digital platform. Turn2Me helps 6,000 people annually.

Community Digital category is sponsored by Western Development Commission

Community Digital Commended Foxford, Co. Mayo

Foxford Alzheimers and Community Trust CLG – Interactive, digital games designed for seniors living with cognitive impairment


Purposeful play including puzzles, quizzes and arts and crafts contributes to a positive quality of life. This is provided through the digital tool Tover Table, a virtual table that is controlled by an overhead projector and can include up to six participants at once. It stimulates brain activity and support workers can keep a record of cognitive improvements for their residents. To date, over 40 families in Foxford have been helped by this service.

Digital Business Winner

Killorglin, Co. Kerry

RDI Hub Digital Business


The RDI hub was launched to facilitate the creation of new products, services and jobs in the South West region. It has transformed Kerry into a globally connected digital technology innovation, enterprise and skillset hotspot boosting economic growth. It runs numerous programmes including hackathons which resulted in Augmented Reality Apps for Kerry tourism; a STEM passport programme whose graduates gain a 50 point Leaving Certificate bonus; and ongoing supports for scaling companies to attract investment and create jobs.

Digital Business category is sponsored by Vodafone

Digital Business Runner-up

Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Foodie Save


Foodie Save is a mobile App which aims to reduce food waste. It connects the public with local businesses who wish to sell the food they have left over at the end of the day. It is a mutually beneficial service because the food products are sold at a discounted price. The App makes it as simple as click – swipe – collect. They are looking to add a gamification rewards feature to the App which will reward users and it incorporates preventative food wasting tips in an interactive way. Foodie Save aims to operate in all small – medium towns across Ireland within the next 3 years.

Digital Business category is sponsored by Vodafone

Newcomer Winner

Portumna, Co. Galway

Recording Family Histories


An App named StoryWell is in development. It will give the gift of stories to future generations using an intuitive, interactive interface. It will help families capture their best memories, experiences, customs and traditions so they can be enjoyed by future generations. Some of the key features of the App are the ability to record; a transcription tool; the ability to upload photos and videos; social media integration; tagging files for easy retrieval; and the ability to create playlists and a mapping tool.


Newcomer Runner-up

Kilkenny City, Co. Kilkenny

Digital Engagement App for Ireland’s Historic Town Centres


A digital mapping App showcases the layers of built and spatial data for Kilkenny. It combines the city’s fragmented geospatial data into an easy-to-use digital platform. #EngageKilkenny is a digital, public engagement platform which enables engagement with Kilkenny’s historic core. An inter-generational oral history component is planned, along with the ability for people to upload rich social history information.

Newcomer Commended

Ardara, Co. Donegal

Decreasing Isolation – Increasing Connectedness


After broadband was installed in the sheltered housing complex in 2022, all 29 apartments and the public areas were provided with a smart screen/speaker Amazon Echo. This has opened a world of opportunity to residents, particularly as it uses voice activated technology which is easier for older residents than typing. Residents use it for viewing funerals, weddings and church services online; to set reminders from the mundane to the important – from watering flowers to medication times; creating shopping lists; and making video calls or participating in an online singing circle. Residents are delighted with what the new world digital has opened up for them.

Rising Star

Drogheda, Co. Louth

Urban Art Trail and Digital Legacy


Drawda Urban Art Trail was developed to reinvigorate lesser visited spaces in the town with public art bringing to life stories of characters from mythology. The murals and art installations are promoted through the use of QR codes, audio trails, digital maps and brochures as well as on social media and websites of partner organisations. To ensure longevity of the project and provide a behind-the-scenes view, videos recordings of the ‘making of the murals’ were published on YouTube.


Digital Changemaker

Crumlin, Dublin

Change Clothes Crumlin


Change Clothes Crumlin is a clothes-swapping initiative to promote sustainable clothing solutions. This includes re-learning skills such as mending, sewing and upcycling. A local group. Connecting Crumlin’s Community, provided seed funding for the initiative. The investment was used to build a website which includes an events’ booking and equipment hire feature. They are using social media to build awareness and also use personalised email marketing. Preventing over 32 tonnes of carbon admissions, this local revolution has the ability to make a big impact.

Digital Changemaker category is sponsored by ConnectedHubs 

Digital Local Hero

Cycling without Age, Clara Clark


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 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.

Finalists 2023

Check out all of the .IE Digital Town Awards 2023 Finalists here.

Previous winners from 2022 and 2021 can also be viewed here.