Among the items dealt with in this wek’s blog are Airband, Teagasc,Microsoft and our Digital Hub


I attended the launch of Airband in Ballyhaise Agricultural College Last Saturday. Airband is a joint project between Teagasc and Microsoft that will bring high speed broadband connectivity all around Ballyhaise College Farm and to some neighbours over the next few months. It will then widen out to take in swipes of countryside. It uses what they call whitespace on the spectrum or the signals and route used by television to get to every home in Ireland under the old analogue system.That’s how it will get around and behind our lovely drumlins. It is really exciting and will be a game changer for so many rural people. It will bring farming practices into the digital spree allowing farmers access new technologies new information and best ways of working. It is a great initiative.

Attended by elected colleagues from Oireachtas County Council and European Parliament the event was very special. The presence of Commissioner Phil Hogan underlined how important this is. He talked of supporting the development of what he called smart villages over coming years using his rural development fund. He is clearly determined that rural communities will have full connectivity. The Director of Teagasc Professor Gerry and Cathrioma Hallaghan from Microsoft were also there to sign off on the MOU or Memorandum Of Understanding to kick start the joint initiative. They both said this could transform rural Ireland creating enormous new opportunities and of course allowing remote working. I am very keen on this as is my colleague Minister Heather Humphreys who spoke of this on the day. I’ve been pushing this idea in the Senate and will.

A very nice dimension to the occasion for me was meeting up with my good friend Professor Boyle who went to UCD with me some few years ago. Gerry myself and Brendan Smith TD were all the same years graduates and together with Brian O Mordha Cootehill debated for Dublin Macra Na Feirme and reached an all Ireland Final only to be pipped on a time fault. I don’t recall that being my fault but then I know that won’t be believed. Anyway I’m confident a lot of good will come from Airband and well done to Teagasc and Microsoft.

Cavan’s Digital Hub.

On Monday I was at the preview of our new Digital Hub which will be bade in the Tower Building Dublin Road Cavan. It will provide meeting rooms with highest speed broadband.
It will have hot desks where people can work or study and be instantly linked to any where in the world. It will provide permanent space to individuals and companies at a very low cost.
These people will have around the clock access and own there space. The hub will have a large flagship employer led by Cavan’s own Donal De Paor.

It will take commuters off the roads and restore quality of life. A new business can test the markets there and then move on and grow.

I am delighted with this new hub which will do so much for our local economy and change the lives of people.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website