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Kildare > Media > 2002 > Speech by Catherine Murphy, Chairperson, KCN

Press Releases

2007 : 2006 : 2005 : 2004 : 2003 : 2002

21 March, 2002


Good evening everyone you are all most welcome. Firstly let me introduce myself Catherine Murphy is my name I am chairperson of Kildare Community Network and I am also a Councillor with Kildare County Council.

I will be initially telling you about Kildare Community Network and then be introducing two further contributors. Cllr John O'Neill Cathaoirleach of Kildare County Council which makes him the first citizen of the County and Kevin Kelly from the Network to take you through the site.

Kildare Community Network has been evolving for the past 5 years. It is already a very successful venture in 2001 the site attracted 640,000 visitors who downloaded 2.3m documents. Current access shows 2100 visitors viewing almost 9000 documents each day. Considerable work has been ongoing to make it even better and we will see the results of that later on.

In most counties what has occurred is the County Council set up its own Web site what is different about Kildare is that the site goes significantly beyond the County Council but the Council remains a central part of the site. Organisation like FAS and Action South Kildare have also been key players over the years.

There are three core elements behind the development of the site.
1. Local Authority
2. Community development.
3. Business development

The thinking was that the site could be a very useful one for business within the County the Horse Development Company is a case in point and the revenue Kildare Community Network would derive from work in this area would be re-invested into the Community aspect of the site so it's a win win situation. You will notice the initial and I stress initial six portals that have been developed as part of this revamped site they are: Arts, Business, Tourism, Community, Education, & Heritage, Kevin will go through these in some of detail later. They were carefully chosen as areas where there was significant interest already.

What is successful about the site is what it does. Kildare is perhaps one of the most diverse Counties in the Country both in terms of the geography of where people are located and the range of interests. The site is one of the mechanisms that allows us to connect to each other and to experience that common place that is Kildare, it is very interesting that the Superhighway should be where we find that.

Kildare Community Network wants this site to be the first place people will go if they want to find out anything about Kildare whether its accessing services or information. That can only happen if it is fully embraced by all of the components of the County. We see this as a two way task with people or groups or business's or agencies adding to the site it may well be for example that mechanisms within each town or village for regular contributions to the site will form and help keep both their own community or indeed the wider County or even people in other parts of the world informed about what is going on. That could happen in areas such as the Arts or Education the message we want to get across is that it is your site too.

With a site with such a proven track record we feel sure the Business Sector will see the benefit of an association within the site currently 80 other sites are hosted on the Kildare Community Network.

While the revamped site will look a bit different the main work has been behind the scenes, it should hopefully be an investment in making the site even more attractive.

I said earlier that the County Council is a key part of the site when you click into the home page, under the new logo you will see the Council logo when you click into that there is a huge amount of information everything from minutes of meetings to jobs the council are advertising.

This is an area that is developing quite rapidly and within a very short space of time for example you will be able to pay for Council services such as the refuse collection service, you will also be able to see planning application files. This has to be the most sustainable form of development where you don't have to use motorised transport to get the service you need but you can literally have it at your fingertips. Council Staff are employed to develop this component of the site and are an integral part of the network. It is a clear demonstration of the Council positioning itself as an agent for both community and business development.

As someone who has been a member of the Network since it was formed I have to say it's been a really rewarding experience I have nothing but complements to pay to all involved but particularly those at the technical end. This is one of the most successful sites in the Country. It is a great source of pride that others look to Kildare for how to develop their sites and see Kildare as the ideal. Kevin and some of his team were for example invited last year to meet the Taoiseach to run through the site with him. The interest here tonight demonstrates your interest which we are delighted to see. I know Kevin and other members of the team will be keen to answer any questions you may have later.

With that I am delighted to invite Cllr John O'Neill to say a few words.

20 March, 2002

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