17 April 2003 Edition

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ó Snodaigh calls for computer republic


Residents of nine Dublin city centre flat complexes are to be given access to the latest computer equipment with high speed internet connections in new specially built "digital centres". The Digital Community Project aims to provide not just access to Information and Communication Technologies but also training and employment in related areas.

Welcoming the project, Sinn Féin TD Aengus ó Snodaigh, in whose constituency five of the nine centres will be based, has also called for an all-Ireland roll-out of projects like this. He told An Phoblacht that "there could be massive savings in the cost of equipment, software and training if tenders were sought for an all-Ireland digital project, with internet ready computers in every home, introduced along with community- and school-based training schemes to get the best advantage out of these new technologies.

"Also, as training schemes are developed, the trainees could become trainers for other communities. The knowledge sharing and educational aspects of this could be an enormous positive spin-off."

ó Snodaigh believes that there is too much focus by this government on taking credit for the jobs created during the 1990s and not enough thinking done and action taken on where the next decade of jobs will come from.

"Getting the best opportunities in computer-related employment, especially for people and communities overlooked by old economy enterprises, is crucial for creating a more equal Ireland," he says. "Tackling the causes of inequality should be a priority for this government and the tackling of the digital divide, not just in the inner city but throughout the island, is a vital project. We need to be building the computer republic for all communities on the island."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1