Community groups express delight at opportunity to invest in new technologies

1st September 2022: Five community groups in Carlow, Wexford and Kilcoole have received a quick cash injection thanks to the RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering the National Broadband Plan (NBP).

Established by NBI Chairman and technology entrepreneur, David McCourt, RISE is providing monthly grants across the country for community groups, small businesses and social enterprises in rural communities seeking to boost their digital ecosystems.

Receiving the grants of €1000 each were the Ballycanew Ballyoughter Community Development Association, with plans to support the FabLab which provides access to modern technology while fostering innovative, technological, entrepreneurial and digital skills; Bree Community Development Group, will look to update its website and develop a social media presence and booking system for their facilities; Brockagh Resource Centre, plan to use the funding for a smart wall mounted flat screen TV to facilitate virtual meetings; Wexford Farmers Market, also plan to upgrade its website and social media presence; and lastly, 121 Digital, which will use the funding to provide its 121digital program and on-site training to a college/school.

David McCourt, founder of RISE and Chairman of NBI, commented: “When we launched the RISE Community Fund supported by NBI, we were looking for community groups, small businesses and social enterprises in rural areas who were exploring how technology could scale the impact of their work. I’m delighted to say that since opening up applications in Carlow, Wexford and Kilcoole, the response has been incredible and now we’re excited to be awarding grants to our four successful applicants. Each one of them is an inspiration, volunteering their time and committing a huge amount of energy and passion to bring pride of place to their local community.”

Following the route of the NBI deployment, The RISE Community Fund supported by NBI calls on small businesses, community groups and social enterprises to use technology in creative and entrepreneurial ways to deliver maximum impact.

Storm Piper O’Neill from the Brockagh Resource Centre commented: “We are delighted to receive this grant from the RISE Community Fund and NBI. As a small community, we work incredibly hard to raise money so that we can continue delivering a growing number of services, and this grant money is going to help us bring in new technology which is critical to our plans. We’re very excited to be able to put this money to good use.”

Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, added: “At NBI, we’re on a mission to connect over 1.1 million people in rural Ireland who don’t have access to high-speed broadband to a world-class, superfast network. Whilst connectivity is a vital utility and a critical first step, it alone can’t solve all of the challenges for businesses, community groups and social enterprises trying to expand the positive impact they’re able to have – both to the local community, and to the wider economy. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to engage local communities with the RISE Community Fund and celebrate innovative uses of technology in Carlow, Wexford and Kilcoole.”

Read more about the Community Fund at

Issued by Murray on behalf of NBI

For Further Information Please Contact

Iona McBirney
087 952 5629

Orla O’Malley
Programme Director
RISE Global Foundation
086 807 5383

About the RISE Community Fund

The RISE Community Fund is a partnership between National Broadband Ireland (NBI), the company delivering Ireland’s National Broadband Plan, and RISE Global Foundation, a privately funded charity. With a shared vision, NBI and RISE are collaborating to tackle the rural/urban digital divide and use technology and entrepreneurship to create opportunities and jobs in rural Ireland.

All grants provided by the RISE Community Fund are privately funded by NBI shareholders and private donations. No State funding is used in the provision of grant funding used by RISE Global Foundation.

About NBI

National Broadband Ireland (NBI) is designing, building and operating the new high-speed fibre broadband network for rural Ireland on behalf of the Irish Government.

NBI’s team brings together some of the most talented individuals in Ireland and across the world, with deep knowledge and experience in delivering projects to the scale of the National Broadband Plan (NBP). This includes developing, building and operating networks and coordinating all the elements required to finance and deliver a project of the size and complexity of Ireland’s NBP.

NBI was established by Granahan McCourt, an international investor in technology, media and telecommunications. For over 30 years, Granahan McCourt has partnered with governments, corporations and communities to connect people through innovation in technologically underserved areas of the world.


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