Community groups and small businesses express delight at receiving cash injection to invest in new technologies

1st August 2023: Three community groups and two small businesses in county Cork have received a quick cash injection to invest in new technology thanks to the RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and Granahan McCourt.

Established by Granahan McCourt and NBI Chairman, David McCourt, RISE is providing monthly grants across the country for rural community organisations seeking to boost their digital ecosystems.

Receiving the grants of €1000 each were Ebony Seed, an environment focussed small business on a mission to influence the next generation of consumers and producers to engage in responsible, sustainable practices; Spirit of Youghal Events, a new festival committee looking to bring cultural and spiritual events to East Cork and surrounding areas; Caheragh Community Association, which is investing in new technologies having recently been made a Broadband Connection Point to offer free public access to high speed internet; The Schoolyard Theatre, which is installing new technology to manage its community events series; and West Cork Jesters, which is investing in its website to further promote its activities run by local volunteers.

Pictured: Niall Beirne, Head of Internal Communications & Strategic Partnerships, National Broadband Ireland, Kathleen Kirby & Geraldine Keohane, Caheragh Community Association, Sheila Quealey, The Schoolyard Theatre, Claire Downey, Jesters All Ability Organisation and Orla O’Malley, Programme Director, RISE Community Fund

David McCourt, founder of RISE and Chairman of Granahan McCourt and NBI, commented: “When we launched the RISE Community Fund, we were looking for community groups, charities, 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 applications in County Cork, the response has been incredible and now we’re excited to be awarding grants to our successful applicants. Each one of them is an inspiration, with many volunteering their time and committing a huge amount of energy and passion to bring pride of place to their local community.”

The RISE Community Fund supported by NBI and Granahan McCourt calls on small businesses, charities, community groups and social enterprises to use technology in creative and entrepreneurial ways to deliver maximum impact.

Geraldine Keohane, a volunteer for the Caheragh Community Association, commented: “Our small group of volunteers is responsible for the Caheragh Community Hall, which is an integral and valued part of our parish activity. Recently we were delighted to become a Broadband Connection Point as part of NBI’s rollout of the National Broadband Plan, and this means that we’re now able to expand and modernise our offering to the local community. This grant from RISE will be a massive help as we enhance our facilities to provide digital literacy classes and other programmes for the community to benefit from.”

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 Cork.”

NBI is reminding Cork residents to also visit their website at to check whether their home, farm or business is included in the National Broadband Plan and to sign up for Eircode specific updates on the rollout.


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