The small and picturesque village of Ratheniska in County Laois is famous for many things despite its size. It has a vibrant Ratheniska National School of 114 boys and 118 girls that dates back to 1824.
It is home to a proud GAA Football and Hurling Club (Park Ratheniska) that caters for young and senior players who compete nationally. And, on top of all this, it is also famous for being the host three years in a row to Ireland’s largest outdoor event: The National Ploughing Championships.
This is a community which revels in being centre stage. This is a community that lives life to the full and it doesn’t let it’s location or size hold it back. And that’s why it is the perfect fit for SIRO’s first rural village transformation.
This unique country village is now also famous for having broadband speeds that are as fast as the fastest broadband speeds in the world’s most advanced cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo.
From teachers, to farmers and graphic designers, people of all ages in Ratheniska are now enjoying the the possibilities and opportunities of broadband that is decades ahead of other networks. From showcasing the best in Irish farming, food and culture in The Ploughing Championships, Ratheniska is now showcasing one of the world’s fastest broadband speeds.
And there’s no better community of people and ambitions who will use the power of SIRO to take on the rest of the country and the world in ways we never thought possible.
There are so many potential transformations that come with SIRO for a rural community such as Ratheniska. One such story is that of Gillian Reidy, the Creative Director of a graphic design agency called Penhouse Designs in Ratheniska. Having first started her business on the bustling streets of Dawson St in Dublin she then moved out to Ratheniska to marry her husband and to live on their farm.
Now with 1 Gigabit connectivity, guaranteed speeds and instant access, SIRO has transformed her home and work life and put her on a level playing field with Dublin and beyond.
As Gillian herself notes the effect for her industry and others all around regional Ireland:
“In the design industry, technology is always advancing, so it’s really important for us that, just because of our countryside location, we’re not left behind. SIRO is going to improve our responsiveness to clients on a daily basis.”
Creative Director, Penhouse Design
Ratheniska is now famous for one of the fastest broadband speeds in the world. We look on with excitement to see how that capability will lead to their next famous attribute, event, business, education or sporting achievement.
From the young boys and the girls in the National School, to their future grandkids, SIRO will be helping to empower them to live life to the fullest in Ratheniska and to continue to reach for the stars. It’s in their DNA and history. A history which SIRO is now proud to be a part of.
Pauline Dunne, Principal of Ratheniska National School, notes the powerful effects of SIRO for her school and for future schools:
“Since September 2015 Ratheniska National School has been privileged to be part of SIRO’s High Speed Broadband pilot. The availability and reliability of this type of connectivity has provided the school with opportunities to deliver teaching and learning in a powerful and more authentic way.”
Principal, Ratheniska National School
Pauline continued, “We now have the luxury of not just an abundance of information at our disposal but also the reliability of access. Students have developed key skills in managing information from multiple perspectives. High speed broadband has given the students opportunities to work autonomously with new information, developing skills in sourcing and editing information.
Students have learned key skills in presenting information collaboratively, as well as coding skills. In many curricular areas pupils now direct their own learning and they have also had opportunities to share their learning pupil-to-pupil in a the wider world through Skype.
High speed broadband has been the singularly most significant agent of change in how we deliver learning in school. Learning in this context is authentic, autonomous and powerful”.