RISE Community Fund announces Kerry grant recipients

12 December 2022: A €25,000 donation has been made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVP) local conference in Killarney to help individuals and families over the Christmas period.

The RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland, the company delivering the National Broadband Plan (NBP), made the donation to mark National Broadband Ireland’s 25,000th connection to its high-speed fibre broadband network, which was officially announced at the Cahernane House Hotel, Killarney last week.

Established by National Broadband Ireland Chairman and technology entrepreneur, David McCourt, RISE has been providing monthly grants across the country to give an immediate cash injection into local communities.

David McCourt, founder of RISE and Chairman of National Broadband Ireland, said: “SVP Killarney provides vital services to the local community and I’m proud that the RISE Community Fund has been able to provide this grant to help SVP continue their work over the Christmas period and into the New Year. We know that this has been a challenging winter for a lot of families and individuals, and we hope that this donation can help to support them.”

The SVP local conference St Bridget’s in Killarney has been looking after the people of Killarney and its hinterland since 1966. SVP looks after individuals and families who are struggling for various reasons, lending people a hand for a time until they are on their feet again. SVP in Killarney also offers struggling families support with education for students of all levels, with a particular focus on third level.

Mary Frances Behan, Regional Vice President for SVP Kerry, said: “With the current cost of living crisis, we are experiencing a huge demand on our services; many people are going without food and heat to try to cut down on costs, and parents are going without themselves in order to make sure that their children are fed. 2022 has been one of our most challenging years to date, so this donation from National Broadband Ireland could not have come at a better time. It will allow us to help and support more families who are experiencing food poverty in Killarney and the wider Kerry region.”

Six Kerry community groups also received a quick cash injection thanks to the RISE Community Fund.

Receiving the grants of €1000 each were:

  • Brian Crean, Banna Community Rescue Boats Ireland – which plans to use the grant to upgrade computer equipment;
  • Ruth Doherty, Cheshire Kerry – which plans to use technology to enhance the independency of residents with physical, sensory and neurological disabilities;
  • Maria O’Shea, Inch Community Council – which plans to purchase a sound bar to enhance their community meetings and educational classes;
  • Paul O’Neill, Island OrganiX – which plans to upgrade and automate their microgreen production room to improve efficiency;
  • Kevin O’Leary, Killarney Cardiac Response Unit – which plans to expand their comms systems and provide an additional projector for their training courses;
  • Tony Duggan, Listowel Community Centre – which plans to collaborate with social entrepreneurs from around the world and deliver wellbeing programmes to their communities.

Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, said: “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, farms, 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 recognise innovative uses of technology like these incredible organisations from across Kerry that we’re celebrating today.”

For More Information

Orla O’Malley, Programme Director
RISE Global Foundation

Martin Phelan


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