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Laois woman (70) wins Google Silver Surfer 2014 Award with Age Action

Published 20/10/2014


Trudy Nealon (70) from Laois has been named as the overall winner of 2014 Google Silver Surfer Awards with Age Action. Trudy uses technology on a daily basis for everything, as treasurer of the Portlaoise Active Retirement Association, she is also responsible for the administration of the club, managing its finances and membership database.

Age Action | Silver Surfer Awards | Trudy Nealon 2014 winner
70-year-old Trudy Nealon does all her banking, shopping, travel arrangements and correspondence online - and a whole lot more besides!

In addition to doing all her banking, shopping, travel arrangements and correspondence online, Trudy also uses her expertise creatively. For her club she puts together presentations of proposed holidays for the local group to choose from and she even produces CD rom collections of holiday photos for members who take part in the group tours. This year the club celebrated its 10 year anniversary and to commemorate the occasion Trudy produced a DVD of the club’s history for all the members, complete with titles, credits and a soundtrack.

Minister for Communications, Energy and the Environment, Alex White presented Trudy with her award and the prize of a brand new Google Chromebook laptop during a ceremony held in The Foundry building at Google headquarters in Dublin today.

Speaking at the awards ceremony he said:“The stories from this year’s silver surfers are fantastic and inspiring. They show the wide range of opportunities we can access online. They make very clear that no matter what your age, you are never too old to learn. One nominee got her Ph.D. at the age of 72, another wrote his memoirs at the age of 99.

For some, the skills they have learned and the confidence they have built - with the help of community and voluntary organisations and with support from my Department under the BenefIT Programme - have helped them lift themselves out of very difficult life situations.  What is really great, and I want to stress this, is these opportunities can be available to everyone.”  

Stuart McLaughlin, Head of GooglersGive EMEA said: “The entries this year were truly amazing, with such a high quality amongst all of the nominations. The stories of both the winners and their fellow nominees were so varied, showing the diverse reasons and ways of how and why people are getting online. From connecting with family, to pursuing hobbies, to running local associations like Trudy, these Silver Surfers prove that it’s never too late to learn!”

Robin Webster, Chief Executive of Age Action said: “In today’s world everything from ordering the weekly shopping to paying the electricity bill can now be done online. While this may be convenient for many, there are some for whom the new digital age can be quite intimidating. That’s why it’s important that we encourage the use of new technologies amongst all ages, particularly the older generation. They have a considerable amount of knowledge to contribute our digital society and can also benefit too, as today’s winners have shown. We hope that the inspirational stories of today’s winners will encourage many more older people to sign up for a class and get online.”

Four other awards were presented during the ceremony:

Winner IT Tutor(s) of the Year Award

Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals, Dunderrow, Co. Cork and Louise Daly, Dublin (Joint Winners)

This year’s joint winners included 11 volunteers from Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals in Cork. The employees came together to give up their free time to deliver an Age Action Getting Started computer training course to the members of the local community of Dunderrow as part of their company’s Community/Corporate Volunteer Programme. A resounding success for both the students and the volunteers, the classes are a major talking point across the community.

Taking place in Dunderrow National School, the volunteers deliver training on computers, the internet and mobile phones to those over the age of 55 with varying knowledge and skills of the digital world.

Joint winner Louise Daly has volunteered in excess of 1,000 hours with Age Action. She has taught over 130 individual computer training classes as part of the Getting Started programme and volunteers at the Friday Drop-In Service whenever she can.

With a relaxed manner and great sense of humour, Louise instantly puts her students at ease making it easier for them to learn and is constantly in demand by repeat students because of her patience and dedication! She’s even added the use of Apple Mac products to her syllabus and is now helping her students get to grips with the technology.

Louise also regularly gives talks on the Getting Started training programme, spreading the message and encouraging people across the country to get online.

Winner New to IT Award

John Flynn (aged 63), Waterford City, Co. Waterford

Having spent many years caring for his mother, John struggled when she passed away, drinking heavily and suffering with depression. With his doctor’s support, John was advised and encouraged to get out and meet people. He joined Age Action’s Getting Started programme in October 2013 and loved it so much that he immediately rushed out to buy a laptop and connect himself on email and the various social media platforms. Since then, his life has completely changed and he is now a regular user of the internet for corresponding and watching his favourite sports programmes and matches including football and racing.

John was recently elected Treasurer of the official Waterford GAA supporters’ club (Company Club Deise) and is looking forward to using his computer skills for the benefit of the club. He has also taken a further computer course in the Waterford Adult Education Centre and thanks Age Action for helping him become computer literate and changing his life.

Hobbies on the Net Award

Sean Radley, Millstreet, Co. Cork

For Sean Radley, IT is a passion, particularly when it comes to his enthusiasm and drive in his local community. From Millstreet, County Cork, Sean founded the community website which documents the life of the local community and keeps north Cork up to date with all the latest news from the surrounding area.

Sean was also instrumental in the launch of the local community TV station LTV and LTV2 and regularly produces and presents numerous programmes on the channel’s schedule. As well as being an Arts and culture lover, Sean is also a music aficionado.

As a member of the Millstreet Gramaphone Club, Sean uses his IT skills to download and create CDs of the old music for the club’s members.

He was nominated by Louise Bourke of IRD Duhallow, a Rural Development Company, Sean has been described as a man before his time for his vision, passion, enthusiasm and drive in local community communications.

Golden IT Award

Paddy Crean (aged 85), Co. Wicklow

Paddy Crean (85) is an active member of the Wicklow Male Voice Choir, joining shortly after its foundation in 1998. Since then, Paddy has gone on to use his IT skills to enhance the group’s singing by sourcing software which translates written scores into music sounds for choir members who cannot read music very well.

Before, learning new choral songs from music notation was time consuming but now Paddy can put the new music onto USBs and Flash Drives so that members can rehearse new material at home.

Paddy also set up  the choir’s website and continues to edit and moderate the site.

His online skills have also led to his involvement with the Wicklow Active Retirement Association, designing and administering three separate websites: and

He was nominated by several groups he works with and is described as an inspiration!




Are We Ageist?

(07 December 2022) 

1 in 4 people experience age discrimination according to Age Action’s new poll Are We Ageist?, conducted by IrelandThinks, with people who were unemployed more than twice as likely to experience age discrimination as people with any other work status. ​

“Age Action is working to reframe how we think, feel and act towards older people and ageing in Ireland, so we commissioned a public poll to understand the degree to which we hold ageist opinions in our society. The public poll reveals that most people in Ireland hold some ageist opinion with people aged 18-34 more than two and a half times as likely to agree with three or more ageist opinions” explained Celine Clarke, Head of Advocacy and Public Affairs at Age Action.