€1.5 million invested in launching Ireland’s first ever age-friendly smart tablet device for older people

  • New ‘ACORN’ device, created by an Irish company, makes digital engagement easier and more accessible for older people
  • ACORN is the result of over three years of research and development

An Irish company has invested €1.5 million in the development of a new smart tablet created specifically for older people.

‘ACORN’ is Ireland’s first age-friendly tablet device and was developed over a three-year period by businessman and CEO of Cliffrun Media, Mr. Philip Hogan. Mr. Hogan has over 26 years’ experience operating in the software and technology sectors. As co-founder of Openet, he established the company as a global leader in the market and has vast experience trading in international markets.

The ACORN tablet promises to make going online more accessible and beneficial for new users of digital technology. The tablet is easy to navigate and uses clear, uncluttered displays to make online access simple and rewarding for even the most inexperienced user.

ACORN supports an integrated mobile date SIM, enabling access to the internet while on the go, as well as instant video/audio calls and messaging and email for all users.

In addition, the tablet features a customisable news feed, which can be tailored to include updates from local, national and international media. ACORN also has its own dedicated help section with over 30 tutorial videos, allowing users to familiarise themselves with all of the tablet’s features and learn at their own speed as well as dedicated support for users.

Family, friends and carers can also stay connected to ACORN by downloading the companion app on their own mobile devices, meaning they can always stay in touch with and support their loved ones.

ACORN has been trialled and tested through a pilot study which was carried out among 95 participants living in rural and urban areas nationwide. The study was led by Age Friendly Ireland in collaboration with the tablet’s creator and three local authority partners. The study showed significant increases in the utilisation of the smart tablet, with daily usage becoming commonplace for 70% of participants. An independent review of this study was subsequently carried out by National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and it found a significant decrease in computer anxiety among Acorn users, and highlighted the key role the Acorn tablet can play in supporting the engagement of older people with services, the local community and society.

Philip Hogan, CEO and creator of ACORN, says: “Smart devices have fundamentally changed how people interact and communicate. They help us build and maintain social networks, access news, and shop online. But these products are often not designed with older people in mind, making it difficult for them to access this wealth of information, and also increasing the risk of social exclusion and loneliness.

“ACORN is an age-friendly tablet that has been proven to increase confidence and engagement with digital media among older people. It will significantly impact positively on the health and well-being of older adults living in urban and rural communities, allowing them to fully participate in our increasingly digital society.”


Twitter: @acorn_nation

Niall Teague wins the 2019 Hard Rock Cafe Christmas FM Song Contest!

Santa Claus’ by Niall Teague voted Best Christmas Song by Christmas FM listeners

Santa Clausby Galway based musician Niall Teague has been announced as the winner of the Hard Rock Cafe Christmas FM Song Contest for 2019. Now in its twelfth year, the song contest on Ireland’s favourite Christmas radio station attracts hundreds of entries each year – all vying to be crowned ‘Best Christmas Song’ by Christmas FM’s extensive national and international audience.

Originally from Belfast, Niall now lives in Galway with his family where he plays in some local groups. 

Speaking about the song ‘Santa Claus’ winner Niall Teague says: “I’m delighted to have taken part and won the song contest. This is my fourth time entering the competition. The children singing on the song are from my daughters’ school, Saint Nicholas’ Parochial school in Galway and I couldn’t have done it without the help of the kids who added something really special to the song. Well done to Principal Wendy Lynch and all the staff and pupils. Thanks to Paddy Jordan who recorded the song and to Miki Belton, Padraic Joyce and Bertrand Huvé for their wonderful playing. The kids were thrilled to have a great experience recording the song and especially now to hear it being played on Christmas FM”.

You can listen to‘Santa Claus’ and all the runners up in this year’s Hard Rock Cafe Christmas FM Song Contest at https://christmasfm.com/songcontest/.

Garvan Rigby, Co-founder of Christmas FM says: ‘We’re delighted to have received so many entries for this year’s competition. The standards seem to be rising every year we hold the contest, and this year was no exception. We’re thrilled to add ‘Santa Claus’ by ‘Niall Teague’ to our station this year as our official Hard Rock Cafe Contest Winner 2019.’

This year, Christmas FM are raising awareness and funds for Barretstown. The radio station’s goal is to raise over €250,000 which will press play on over 850 days of life changing programmes at Barretstown, rebuilding the lives of seriously ill children. The services provided to all of the children and families who attend Barretstown are entirely free of charge, so donations and fundraising efforts are vital for the charity to help more seriously ill children to experience the magic of Barretstown each year. 

Christmas FM is generously supported by the premier FM sponsors Cadbury, Coca Cola and An Post. The radio station is broadcasting from the Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin.

The main radio frequencies for Christmas FM are Dublin City and County 105.2FM, Cork 106.7FM, Galway 87.7FM, Kildare 88.1FM, Sligo 95FM, Kilkenny 104.3, Letterkenny 105.7, Limerick 105.5FM, Midlands North 101.6FM, North East 99.4FM, South East 103.8FM, Tralee / Killarney 105FM, Wicklow North 99.5FM, Wicklow South 106.6FM, Ennis/Clare 105.2FM and Waterford 105.9FM. 

Christmas FM is also broadcasting on Virgin Media Channel 900. Find out all the ways to listen at https://christmasfm.com/listenin/

Christmas FM is available online at 


You can follow the station on social at 


Christmas FM – Bringing You The Magic Of Christmas

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy awarded All-Ireland Business All-Star

‘Food at Fishers Café’ also announced as a finalist in the

Small Firms Association (SFA) National Small Business Awards

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy Ltd., a family-owned, award-winning department store located in County Wicklow, has achieved a quality mark signifying it meets the highest standards of service and trust.

The coveted All-Ireland Business All-Star award is an independently verified standard mark for indigenous businesses, based on rigorous selection criteria. The accreditation is overseen by the prestigious All-Ireland Business Foundation, whose adjudication panel is chaired by Dr Briga Hynes of the Kemmy Business School at the University of Limerick and Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics. 

Fishers of Newtownmountkennedy, which is located just 45 minutes from Dublin and open seven days a week, features an extensive range of ladies’ smart, casual and lifestyle clothing, a menswear shop, children’s clothing, a giftware and homeware department as well as an extensive accessories section featuring jewellery, scarves, wraps, bags, hats, belts and lots more. Brands stocked include ‘Fishers Inspired’ own collection, Magee, Eden Park, Olsen, Columbia, Joules, Rabe, Hatico, Seasalt, Noa Noa, Betty Barclay, Red Cuckoo, Ria Organics, Jo Browne and Ireland’s Eye.

The beautiful 10,000 sq. ft. destination also hosts the award-winning restaurant and café ‘Food at Fishers’, Salon H, a hair salon, and Beds of a Feather, a bed and bedding specialist store. A curated craft space called ‘The Schoolhouse Studio and Workshop’ is also available in-store, featuring local handmade art, crafts and photography, with artists regularly working, exhibiting and running workshops there. Extensive free parking is available on-site.

Rebecca Harrison, Managing Director of Fishers, commented: “We are thrilled to achieve this Business All-Star accreditation. The accreditation process gave us the opportunity to reflect and really focus on the experience we give our customers in every way. We were honoured to get the feedback from the panel, our employees, customers and suppliers through the reference checks and found it not only insightful but also humbling. Our team need to be particularly commended, as the face of the business, they are responsible for such strong feedback from our customers.”

Kieran Ring, CEO of the Global Institute of Logistics added: “We evaluate a company’s background, trustworthiness and performance, and we speak to customers, employees and vendors. We also anonymously approach the company as a customer and report back on the experience. The business goes through at least two interviews and is scored on every part of the process against set metrics.”

Meanwhile, the award-winning café and restaurant, Food at Fishers has also been named as a finalist in the Small Firms Association (SFA) National Small Business Awards 2020. These awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of small businesses in Ireland and recognises the vital contribution of the small business sector to Irish industry.

Food at Fishers is one of just six finalists nationwide to be nominated in the food and drink category. The companies that have been announced as finalists will also a receive a bursary to help them grow further along with tickets to the ceremony which will take place in the RDS on 12th March 2020 when the overall winner will be announced.

For regular updates, check out www.fishers.ie, follow us on Twitter – @fishersofnmk

or find us on Facebook & Instagram @fishersofnewtownmountkennedy