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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 29 August, 2014

102-year-old Skype user among Silver Surfer winners

This year’s winners of the Age Action ‘Silver Surfer’ awards also include an avid texter who’s just 95 years young.

Ivy Bean (104) was the world's oldest Twitter user until her death on July 28.
Ivy Bean (104) was the world's oldest Twitter user until her death on July 28.
Image: Bob Collier/PA Archive

A 102-YEAR-OLD MAN who uses Skype to regularly speak with his son in Fiji has been named as one of the six winner of this year’s Silver Surfer Awards.

The awards, organised by Age Action Ireland and this year sponsored by mobile network 3, are given to people of older ages who use technology not commonly associated with their age profile to keep in touch with friends and family from whom they are separated.

Daniel Hoare (102) from Cork was the winner of the Special Award, for his recent education in how to use email, a skill he uses to furnish his daily use of Skype to speak to his son based in Fiji – nearly exactly half-way around the world.

Elsewhere, winners included Liam Kirwan (70) from Tullamore, who also uses Skype to keep in touch with his grandchildren as well as running the website of his local parish church, at www.tullamoreparish.ie, for which he takes most of the photographs. He was given the Silver Networker  award.

A 65-year-old sufferer of Parkinsons’ Disease and multiple sclerosis, Maureen O’Brien, was named the Most Dedicated IT Learner, who learned to use a computer in order to keep in touch with a daughter living in England who was expecting a child, and ultimately became a regular Facebook user as she kept in touch.

Fred English Sr from Dublin, meanwhile, was given the Best Use of the Internet award for having prepared online training and fitness plans for his son Fred Jr, who lives in Cork, in order to keep him in good training for the Cork Marathon despite living so far away from him.

The overall Silver Surfer award went to Evan Hassell (95), who emails and texts his grandchildren to distraction while helping his brother, based in Canada, to record his memoirs.

The judges for the awards included Katriona O’Leary from 3, Ciara Sherlock from Age Action and Darragh Doyle from boards.ie.

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