‘Crafty Irish Girl’ wins 2018 open eir Silver Surfer grand prize
Sixty-five-year-old Margaret Byrne from Tallaght, in Dublin, was names overall winner of the 2018 open eir Silver Surfer Awards at a ceremony earlier this week. She also picked up the hobbies on the net’ award.
Margaret (also known as ‘The Crafty Irish Girl’ from her blog) is a crochet, knitting and jewellery maker who uses social media to grow the craft community, and help keep skills current.
She has a Facebook page which she uses for sharing ideas and knitting patterns and she also provides online tutorials. Margaret is also a keen Pinterest user – with almost 1,000 people followers, however, she says, Instagram is her social media channel of choice.
Byrne also campaigns for survivors of mesh implant complications through the online support group Mesh Survivors Ireland, of which she is a co-founder. The group has grown to 250 survivors and has provided help to those suffering through meetups and support groups.
John Church, CEO, Age Action, said: “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.”
Carolan Lennon, CEO, eir said: “The awards are a fantastic opportunity to shine a light on some of the remarkable ways that older people are taking advantage of the possibilities that connectivity offers… Our Silver Surfers are ambassadors for a digital landscape and reinforce our belief that everyone should have access to a best in class broadband and mobile network.”
The seven other award winners were:
Getting started in IT: Tom Langan from Renmore, Galway
Golden IT award: Gordon Lawson, Cork
Community champion: David Rowe, Dublin
IT enthusiast: Mary Dunne, Louth
IT tutor of the year: Marie Hogan, Tipperary
Corporate IT tutor the year: VMware
Schools tutor of the year: Dominican College, Griffith Ave., Dublin