Ireland Celebrates 25 Years Online

The Internet.
The Internet.

By Olivia O’Mahony, Editorial Assistant
August / September 2016

As of June 17th, Ireland has officially been connected to the internet for 25 years. On the same day in 1991, Trinity College Dublin became the first organization in the country to connect to the world wide web. The link was shared with campus-based start-up company IEunet, run by entrepreneurs Cormac Callanan and Michael Nowlan. “From that day you could actually, physically connect to another computer on the other side of the world from Trinity College or any of our connected organizations,” Nowlan told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. In the weeks that followed, University College Dublin also went online.

In celebration of this anniversary, technology writer John Sterne has introduced an online repository of documents, timelines, and personal testimonies of how the Irish technology industry has developed since the country hit this milestone (accessible at techarchives.irish). Google engineer Niall Murphy also marked the occasion by publishing The History of the Irish Internet, a review of the emergence and effects of the web in Irish society.

Today, 85 percent of Irish households have access to the internet, and 78 percent of the population consider themselves “regular internet users,” according to E.U. data. Every one of the world’s top ten “born on the internet” companies (including Google, Facebook, and PayPal) have a base in Ireland.

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