Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, was on Bere Island in County Cork today (Tuesday 27th July) to visit a series of new rural development projects as part of a nationwide tour to promote Our Rural Future.
After meeting with the island community, the Minister availed of a Highspeed Broadband Hub to securely attend today’s Cabinet meeting.
The broadband hub on Bere Island is one of hundreds of facilities across the country that provide highspeed quality broadband, allowing people to work and study remotely.
Developing Ireland’s first ever nationwide Hub network is a key part of Our Rural Future, which sets out the Government’s vision for rural Ireland over the next five years.
Speaking after the Government meeting, the Minister said:
“Over a year ago, the idea of attending a meeting of Cabinet from such a remote location like Bere Island would have been seen as far-fetched.
“But remote working is now a reality the length and breadth of the country, including on our offshore islands.
“I was really pleased to avail of the excellent and secure facilities here on Bere Island.
“These facilities allow local people to avail of online services without the need to travel to the mainland.
“They also allow young people to study within their own community and are an important facility for visitors like me today.
“There are now twelve broadband facilities like the one in Bere Island in islands off the coast of Kerry, Galway, Donegal, Cork and Mayo.
“The digital connectivity they provide give us all choices about where we live and how we work and that is something that as a government we are determined to build upon in the months ahead.”
One of the key aims of the Government’s new five-year strategy for rural Ireland, Our Rural Future, is to promote remote working and enable people to work from rural or island locations.
Speaking about further support for remote working, the Minister continued:
“I was delighted to be able to further support remote working recently when I announced over €8.8 million in funding for 117 projects across the country.
“This support provided through Our Rural Future, along with other initiatives such as the National Broadband Plan and the Remote Working Strategy, will help to breathe new life into rural areas and islands.”
The Minister concluded:
“Our Rural Future commits to the development of a national network of 400 quality remote working hubs nationwide over the next 5 years. Connected Hubs which I launched in May, already has 121 hubs live and on board. People can visit www.connectedhubs.ie and book a hot desk or remote working space for a day, a week, a month – whatever best suits their needs.
These hubs can be a game-changer for rural communities by allowing people, particularly young people, to live and work from their own community.”
The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office
076-1006843 / 087-1734633
Note to photo desks
Photography from these events is attached.
Caption: Minister Humphreys on her way to Cabinet at the high speed broadband hub at Bere Island Heritage Centre this morning.
Notes to editor:
Broadband Connection Points
Broadband Connection Points (BCPs) are generally community led initiatives and are key to delivering the digital future of rural Ireland and the islands.
There are currently 203 BCPs live and operational.
Pilot projects at BCPs have begun to roll out, including Remote Working supports, eHealth projects, Arts & Culture initiatives, and Education & Training opportunities.
COMHAR NA NOILEÁN
INISHBOFIN COMMUNITY CENTRE
LETTERMULLEN COMMUNITY CENTRE
TIERNEE COMMUNITY HALL
BERE ISLAND HERITAGE CENTRE
SHERKIN ISLAND COMMUNITY HALL
Coláiste Phobal Cléire
Clare Island Library
Bere Island Heritage Centre
Bere Island Heritage Centre is a multipurpose centre for community activities on the island. It tells the story of the island, it has a shop and small café.
The ConnectedHubs.ie platform offers a suite of booking, hub management and e-commerce applications to members of the Network. The Network also facilitates the sharing of innovation, experience and best practices across the community. These supports serve to maximise benefit to member hubs, hub clients, employers, local communities and the wider economy.