JIM O’Brien has been selected as the Digital Champion for Offaly and Laois.
Twenty-six Digital Outreach Champions were appointed by community network, The Wheel and Irish Rural Link as part of the Digital Outreach programme initiated by the Minister for Communications and are now actively helping create greater awareness and understanding of the Digital Switchover in their local communities.
Mr O’Brien is currently contacting people involved in community organisations throughout the county who are interested in getting involved in the programme.
He said, “This will take a huge community effort. We want to make sure that nobody in Offaly is left behind, especially people who are more isolated where television is an important part of their contact with the outside world.
“I’d be delighted to talk to anyone around the county who would like to help: they do not need to have any technical expertise, they just need to be interested in helping others in their community to make the switch.”
Mr O’Brien has considerable experience in community organisations and activity in the area. He works as freelance community worker and is undertaking this programme for Laois Partnership Company.
He said there has already been considerable interest in the Community Outreach programme. “I’ve attended meetings with a range of organisations in the area and I hope that many more will come on board so that those who would not otherwise make the switch can receive the assistance they need. Already the feedback has been really great, it’s an exciting and really worthwhile effort.”
Anyone who currently relies on an aerial to watch TV - approximately 250,000 households across Ireland - will need to take action before October 24 to retain access to TV services.
Guidance on the Digital Switchover is available at www.goingdigital.ie, through LoCall 1890 940 980 (English language) and 1890 940 970 (Irish language).
Information booklets are also available in post offices and Citizen Information Centres throughout the country.