RealTime IT News

Local Ireland to Receive $7 Million In Funding

Irish communications firm Telecom Eireann (TE) will invest over $7 million in Local Ireland, a project that aims to bring existing community content in Ireland to users around the world via the Internet.

Nua Ltd., the Dublin-based company that operates Local Ireland, is expected to make the official announcement on August 9.

The investment, which will give Telecom Eireann a 90% stake in the venture, will be used to create offline institutions to collect and publish local information on the Web, and to boost the online operations of Local Ireland, according to Nua.

Part of the Telecom Eireann funding will also be used to build NUA's core Internet consulting and development business.

Local Ireland is a "community" site geared toward Irish-related content available in Ireland and around the world. Unlike other "portals" or community hubs, however, Local Ireland will not be creating a virtual community but will take existing communities onto the Internet.

Nua said over 75 million people claim Irish ancestry and Local Ireland will be targeted at thriving Irish communities in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Germany, and Canada.

To drive this effort, local offline organizations called co-operatives will be set up in the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland, and wherever in the world there is an existing Irish community, Nua said. These co-operatives and partnerships will represent interests including education, commerce, sports, religion, local government, tourism, and historical and genealogical societies.

Nua said it expects the Local Ireland content management model to be franchised internationally in the shape of Local India, Local France, Local Israel, Local Greece, and so on.