Community groups and small businesses express delight at receiving cash injection to invest in new technologies

Two community groups, two small businesses and a primary school in County Monaghan have received a quick cash injection to invest in new technology thanks to the RISE Community Fund supported by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) and Granahan McCourt. 

Established by Granahan McCourt and NBI Chairman, David McCourt, RISE is providing monthly grants across the country for rural community organisations seeking to boost their digital ecosystems. 

Receiving the grants of €1000 each were Clones Youth Club, which has plans to improve its internet connectivity and invest in new 3D printing technologies to extend its range of science and technology focussed programmes for young people in the area; Tullycorbet Community Development Association, in order to digitise its administrative functions; Emerald Isle Water, which is investing in new technologies and enhancing its online capabilities to support the growth of the business providing spring water and water coolers across the north east; Rosemary & Michael McMeel Free Range Eggs, which is investing in new technology and bolstering its online advertising; and Scoil na gCailini, a girls primary school seeking to develop its website into a one-stop-shop to find out about local services and community groups.  

David McCourt, founder of RISE and Chairman of Granahan McCourt and NBI, commented: “When we launched the RISE Community Fund, we were looking for community groups, schools, charities, small businesses and social enterprises in rural areas who were exploring how technology could scale the impact of their work. I’m delighted to say that since opening applications in County Monaghan, the response has been incredible and now we’re excited to be awarding grants to our successful applicants. Each one of them is an inspiration, with many volunteering their time and committing a huge amount of energy and passion to bring pride of place to their local community.”

The RISE Community Fund supported by NBI and Granahan McCourt calls on small businesses, charities, community groups and social enterprises to use technology in creative and entrepreneurial ways to deliver maximum impact. 

Liam Devanney, Youth Worker at Clones Youth Club, commented: “We run a wide range of programmes to support young people in our local community with science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. As a group, we’re passionate about introducing new technologies to give new experiences and skills to the young people we work with. For example, we have plans to use 3D pens that will help explain the concept of how 3D printing works and what it can be used for in the real world. Thanks to this grant from RISE with the support of Granahan McCourt and NBI, we will be able to really enhance these programmes and increase the benefit to our community.”

Peter Hendrick, CEO of NBI, added: “At NBI, we’re on a mission to connect over 1.1 million people in rural Ireland who don’t have access to high-speed broadband to a world-class, superfast network. Whilst connectivity is a vital utility and a critical first step, it alone can’t solve all of the challenges for businesses, community groups and social enterprises trying to expand the positive impact they’re able to have – both to the local community, and to the wider economy. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to engage local communities with the RISE Community Fund and celebrate innovative uses of technology in Monaghan.”

NBI is reminding Monaghan residents to also visit their website at to check whether their home, farm or business is included in the National Broadband Plan and to sign up for Eircode specific updates on the rollout. 

Read more about the RISE Community Fund at

Photo caption: Niall Beirne, Head of Internal Communications & Strategic Partnerships, NBI, Pauline Grogan, Tullycorbet Community Development Association, Orla O’Malley, Programme Director, RISE Community Fund, Julie McGurk, Clones Youth Club, Paul McKenna, Emerald Isle Water, Paula Coleman, Scoil na gCailini, and others involved with Tullycorbet Community Development Association.