Tuesday 26 September 2017

War vet Doreen (92) crowned tech champ

Doreen Thew was thrilled to take top prize in the open eir Silver Surfer Awards. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Doreen Thew was thrilled to take top prize in the open eir Silver Surfer Awards. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An elderly woman who helped decode German transmissions during World War II won an award yesterday for her outstanding internet skills.

Doreen Thew (92) lives in Maynooth, Co Kildare, and is an adept iPad user. She was "absolutely thrilled" to win top prize in the open eir Silver Surfer Awards 2017.

While Mrs Thew lived in England she became adept at using Skype to contact family in Ireland, including two sons, five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

The tech whizz shops online and uses Google to identify the birds that fly into her garden.

During the war she was stationed in Kent where she worked 12-hour shifts intercepting German radio transmissions. She would transpose them and send them to Bletchley Park where they would be decoded.

She advised older people: "If I can do it then anyone should be able to do it. I used to have a PC but now have an iPad and I find that much easier to use. If you're starting out the touch technology might be the best way to learn."

RTÉ personality Baz Ashmawy and his mother Nancy presented the awards which celebrate elderly people utilising technology. Another winner, Betty Smith (80) from Cork, set up an online business to sell her poitín marmalade called A Taste of Irish Spirit. It's sold online and in 35 Cork shops.

Irish Independent

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