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16 Aug 2016

Armagh City’s pioneering social enterprise CAIRDE Teo is no stranger to the awards ceremony scene, having scooped several national and regional awards in recent years for their community enterprise and Irish language development work. It came as little surprise to many, therefore, when the group received news this week that they had been nominated for the National Realex Web Awards 2016 in two categories: ‘Best Arts and Culture’; and ‘An Suíomh Gaeilge is Fearr’ [Eng: Best Irish Language Website].

Established in 2009, the not-for-profit group recently invested in a completely new website to meet the growing demand for its services. The cultural development group worked closely over several months with Website NI, the professional website service based in Benburb, Co. Tyrone. Part-funding was provided from Foras na Gaeilge’s ‘Scéim Tacaíochta Gnó’ [Eng: Business Support Scheme]. The final product provides the organisation with an eye-catching, online presence and an appropriate worldwide platform to showcase the broad variety of services that they provide to the local community. The new bilingual website also contains multi-media functions with links to online radio and video features.

The Web Awards will take place in the RDS Concert Hall in Dublin on September 28th and attracts nominees from all over Ireland, including many large companies and organisations. There were 700+ category nominations last year when prize winners included household names such as 98FM.com for Best Media Site, Tayto Park for Best Entertainment Website, Silicon Republic for Best Science and Technology Site and waterfordwhispersnews.com for Best Daily Web Only Publication.

Competition is no less stiff in 2016, with entries from some big names in the commercial and arts sectors. CAIRDE faces competition in their categories from aikenpromotions.com, warnermusic.ie, corkcityballet.com, thedivinecomedy.com and wexfordopera.com – to name but a few! Over 500 people are expected to attend this year’s glittering awards ceremony, which will be hosted by RTÉ 2FM presenter Rick O’Shea.

Strategic Development Officer with CAIRDE Teo, Gearóid Ó Machail, expressed his delight at the group’s nomination;

“Simply being nominated for another prestigious national award is a great honour and a tribute to our small team of dedicated individuals who work extremely hard all year round to deliver services to the local community in Armagh City and in the surrounding district. Much of the credit in this instance though must go to the team at Website NI. Website NI is a professional organisation with a solid team of 13 designers and developers with over 40 years combined experience in the industry. We worked in close partnership with their design and production team to ensure that our new website not only looks great, but it is closely aligned with our overall strategic objectives. Safron (Client Advisor), Gareth (Web Developer) and Paul (Web Designer) were extremely responsive to our ideas and offered creative solutions on each occasion that we presented material for the new site. Their back-up services are fantastic and they have been very generous with their time and patience throughout.

“CAIRDE Teo faces some very stiff competition in our nominated categories from large-scale organisations with resources and budgets to match. Nevertheless, I’m delighted that the creative endeavours of our website design team are being recognised on a national stage and in such esteemed company. In addition to our web design team, I’d like to thank Foras na Gaeilge for their generous support and offer a special word of thanks to my colleagues Seán Ó Maoilsté, Máire Ní Phronntaigh and Caoimhe Ní Loingsigh for their invaluable input to our award-nominated website”.

Safron Thomas, Client Advisor with Website NI, added:

“After some initial consultations with the CAIRDE Teo team, it was clear that they wanted to focus on improving and redesigning the overall look and feel of their website, to modernise it, to make it accessible and engaging to users and to incorporate an online radio station streaming functionality. With a significant corpus of video material from TV news stations, the group were also keen to incorporate a ‘CAIRDE TV’ function within the website.

“Our main goals in creating the new CAIRDE website were: (i) to engage the community through the Irish Language; (ii) to keep relevant organisations up to date with CAIRDE Teo’s work in the local community in a positive and engaging way; (iii) to showcase the organisation’s projects and services; (iv) to promote the physical shop – ‘Cultúr’; and (v) to promote the new radio station – Raidió Mhacha. We hope that we have been successful in meeting our client’s needs with their new website presence. We also wish CAIRDE Teo every success in the upcoming awards”.