Ardee pensioner (76) wins silver surfer award for embracing technology

Ardee Active Retirement Group now boasts of 80% internet usage amongst members thanks to Mary

Tia Clarke


Tia Clarke


Ardee pensioner (76) wins silver surfer award for embracing technology

Carolan Lennon, CEO of Eir, Mary Dunne from Ardee and TV presenter Brendan Courtney

A 76-year-old Ardee woman has been crowned as the winner of the IT Enthusiast Award at the 2018 open eir Silver Surfer Awards. 

The internet-savvy Ardee lady, was presented with her award at a ceremony in eir’s Head Office by well-known fashion designer, TV and radio personality Brendan Courtney.  

The ceremony was officially opened by Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People Jim Daly T.D.  

Mary Dunne has become a role model for her friends at the Ardee Active Retirement Group, which now boasts of 80% internet usage amongst members.

And it's all down to the Louth woman's determination to keep up with modern technology. Mary only learned how to use the computer in her late 60s and is now keen to share her knowledge with her peers at the Ardee Retirement Group.

The Louth lady books adventures online for her fellow pensioners throughout Ireland and across Europe and also uses Pinterest to get inspiration for decorating her local church.

She has set up a WhatsApp group to stay in touch with her six children and 16 grandchildren and has been known to give out tips for the Galway Races using the BetFinder app.

Mary is an active promoter of internet safety and seeks to alleviate fears held by some older people around using the internet.

John Church, CEO of Age Action, said: “We are proud to celebrate today some truly inspirational people. These Silver Surfers are challenging ageist stereotypes that the internet, social media and new technologies are only for young people.

“They’re not just doing so to improve their own lives but, in many cases, to assist their neighbours, support their communities and reach out to people who need help. We hope they will inspire thousands more like them to dust off the laptop or tablet sitting at home and get online. There is an entire world of information and entertainment waiting for them. And who knows, maybe some of those inspired by this year’s Silver Surfers will be joining us at next year’s awards.”

Carolan Lennon, CEO, eir said: “Today’s winners are a fantastic example of what can be achieved by embracing technology. We are delighted to support an initiative that celebrates older people and those who support them.”

Minister Daly also congratulated all the open eir Silver Surfer award winners and nominees, noting that Age Action’s Getting Started Computer Training Programme, along with eir’s commitment to provide the best mobile and broadband network to every household and business across Ireland, is instrumental in helping older people experience the benefits that technology can bring to their everyday lives. 


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