Tech-savvy granny ‘uses internet every day for everything’

A tech-savvy granny who discovered the fun side of the internet when she retired is the country’s top silver surfer.

Tech-savvy granny ‘uses internet every day for everything’

Trudy Nealon, aged 70, from Portlaoise, is the treasurer of Portlaoise Active Retirement Association and uses the internet every day.

Members of the association nominated her for the title because they have benefited from her computer skills. Trudy used her IT skills to put together presentations of proposed holidays for the group to choose from and also produced CD-ROM collections of holiday photos for members to keep.

This year, the club celebrated its 10th anniversary and, to mark the occasion, Trudy produced a DVD of the club’s history, complete with titles, credits, and a soundtrack.

Trudy, who does all her banking, shopping, and correspondence online, believes some older people are afraid of the internet. She said the retirement association has been involved in an initiative whereby transition year students help members learn about computers on a one-to-one basis.

“It allowed members to work at their own pace and lose the fear they had about computers. Once they got a basic knowledge, they were hungry to learn more,” she says.

IT Tutors of the Year included 11 volunteers from Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, Dunderrow, Co Cork, and Louise Daly in Dublin, who gave up their free time to deliver an Age Action computer training course to older people.

Winner of the New to IT award was John Flynn, 63, from Waterford City, who used the internet to turn his life around.

John cared for his mother but when she passed away, he drank heavily and suffered with depression.

John took his GP’s advice, joined Age Action’s Getting Started programme in October 2013, and began using the internet regularly for corresponding and watching his favourite sports programmes.

He was recently elected treasurer of Waterford GAA supporters’ group and wants to use his computer skills to benefit of the club.

The Hobbies on the Net award went to retired teacher Sean Radley from Millstreet, Co Cork, for his work in documenting community life over the last 40 years.

The Golden IT Award went to Paddy Crean, 85, from Wicklow, who uses his IT skills to help members of the Wicklow Male Voice Choir learn songs and rehearse at home. He also looks after three websites that he designed for the Wicklow Active Retirement Association.

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