Minister of State Pat Carey today announced that ten Digital Community Centres across the inner city of Dublin have been upgraded to provide the local community with access and training on the latest technologies.

The Digital Community Project aims to combat the ‘digital divide’ in inner-city communities. The project has recently secured over €100,000 funding from the Department of Community Gaeltacht & Community Affairs, Microsoft Ireland and the Dublin Inner City Programme (DICP).

Microsoft Windows Vista is being rolled out in the upgraded centres.

Speaking today at Hardwicke Street Digital Community Centre Minister Carey said: “I am delighted to be here today to launch this project. Programmes like this can help to overcome the problem of educational disadvantage and overcome the "digital divide" experienced by people in these selected locations."

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Pictured at the launch: Minister Carey, Bernie Hanly, Dr. Frank McMahon, DIT and Tommy Cooke, Digital Community Project.

About the Digital Community Project

The Digital Community Project evolved from DIT’s Dublin Inner-city Schools Computerisation programme (D.I.S.C.), which tackled educational obstacles and potential limitations faced by inner-city school children due to lack of computer facilities. To complement this programme the Digital Community project was established to provide access to technology at home, for students and parents.

Peter Byrne, Digital Community Project Manager, said: “It has been a busy and successful five years since the centres were first launched in 2003. The project is about bringing educational opportunities to people, rather than expecting them to come to us, and the approach works! We didn’t tell them what they needed to know – we asked them what they wanted to know, and it went from there. To date we have had over 2,500 students complete programmes at our centres and we are looking forward to seeing this figure grow with the project over the coming years.”

Microsoft has provided software, training and consultancy since the launch of the programme in 2003. In 2003 the programme was launched with 11 centres across Dublin. Five years has seen a lot of growth. There are now 20 centres, 2,500 students of various ages have completed programmes at the centres, over 400 people are taught every day at the centres with 280 children attending homework clubs on a daily basis.

Find out more here.