2 July 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

As Co Monaghan celebrated a significant milestone in broadband connectivity in Drumhowan on Friday, the community’s famed acting twins John and Tommy McArdle delivered a timely reminder of the joys of reconnecting with the work of Inniskeen poet Patrick Kavanagh. The McArdles’ performance of an excerpt from their celebrated showcase of Kavanagh’s characters and colloquy conveyed the timeless quality of “the half-talk code of mysteries and the wink and elbow language of delight” and reminded the audience of the essential value of human communication as we enter a Covid-19- accelerated era of increasingly virtual contact.

The double-act was part of an entertainment programme presented by the people of Drumhowan as part of the celebration of the Broadband Connection Point at their local community facility becoming the 200th in the country to go live – an auspicious occasion marked by the presence of both the Minister for Rural and Community Development and local TD Heather Humphreys and her Government colleague Minister of State for Communications and the Circular Economy Ossian Smyth TD, as well as leading executives from National Broadband Ireland and Vodaphone Ireland.

The Drumhowan BCP was one of ten in Co Monaghan formally initiated by Minister Humphreys during a Friday whistle-stop tour of the county as high-speed as anything modern broadband can deliver. Broadband Connection Points, located at central and easily accessible public and community building locations, are designed to improve quality and access to broadband in rural areas where connectivity has been a problem. But Minister Humphreys emphasised that BCPs were not merely “stop-gap” measures to serve until the National Broadband Plan has fully realised its reach.

Rather they were “long term investments designed to help rural communities realise their full potential”. Minister Humphreys promised that her Department in the coming months would use BCP locations for pilot projects to deliver e-health facilities, education and training courses and cultural and arts initiatives.

She also saw the locations as integral to delivering remote working capability to rural locales. Cathaoirleach of Monaghan Co Council Councillor Aidan Campbell said the Broadband Connection Points would also play an important…

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