The Fitzgeralds

The Fitzgeralds

Meet The Family

Seán and Marie Fitzgerald set up home just outside Newcastle West when they married and are proud parents to Seán Óg, and twins, Annie and Adam.

Seán comes from a long tradition of farming and works in the fields where his own father worked all his life. Marie is a part-time nurse between Croom Orthopaedic Hospital and University Hospital Limerick. She loves her job, particularly since patient experience has been vastly improved through Smart healthcare.

Sean and Marie know their local councillors well from community meetings, the most recent of which was about the extension of high-speed broadband into the area. They lodged their support using an online survey and petition. This is a welcome development because their kids are using tablets in school, Snapchatting non-stop on their phones at home and giving out yards about the slow Wi-Fi signal.

Adam goes to CoderDojo in a repurposed retail unit in the Digital Quarter once a week and is working on an app to monitor growth rates in cattle for his Young Scientist project. Annie’s current passion is history and she can access the Limerick Museum catalogue, reading about the origins of important artefacts that make up the fascinating story of Limerick.

Seán Óg plays club and county hurling but in his spare time, enjoys helping his dad on the farm. He has given his namesake a few simple computer lessons and now he can search for second-hand equipment online, look up the latest farming news and he’s working on a micro wind- turbine after getting the plans through ISAX Data Exchange website. Seán is new to email and forums but people online have great advice. A virtual friend, Magnus82, has directed him to some really good environmental on alternative energy source statistics from Denmark. The next step is researching biofuels for powering parts of the farm; he’s heard about the Citizen Innovation Lab and crowdsourcing opportunities.

A keen member of an amateur drama group, Marie likes to attend plays in the Lime Tree Theatre or the Belltable whenever she can - keeping up to date on events by using My She finds the site “awful handy” for doing things on her lunch-break like renewing her driver’s licence or topping up her credits for Smart Parking although with the new integrated transport initiatives her brood, and her elderly parents, can get in and out of town more easily without relying on lifts.

Seán and Marie remember the time when a rise in farms and isolated homes being burgled led to the community website setting up a neighbourhood watch scheme with the council’s help. The combination of local vigilance, sharing information online, more CCTV and mobile policing means that everyone feels safer now.

The Fitzgeralds have a busy but happy household and the only arguments are over what to watch on Netflix during family movie night every Friday.