Friday 23 August 2019

Silver surfer: Blogger (95) who brings history to life wins internet award

Blogger Florence McGillicuddy (95) with some of the boys from Ballyroan Boys’ School in Dublin
Blogger Florence McGillicuddy (95) with some of the boys from Ballyroan Boys’ School in Dublin
Breda Heffernan

Breda Heffernan

A 95-year-old blogger who could give the modern crop of social media influencers a run for their money has won the Age Action Silver Surfer Award.

Florence McGillicuddy, from Rathfarnham in Dublin, blogs on GrandadOnline.com and has developed a unique relationship with the children of third class in the local Ballyroan Boys' School over the past three years through the internet.

He brings history to life for the pupils as he researches historic facts about Dublin and composes lessons in an email which the children's teacher helps the children to read.

On his blog, Florence recalls what his life was like growing up in an army barracks, his early school days - which included a visit to the Wills cigarette factory - and playing in the school band on RTÉ radio.

He also documents historic events, such as the blowing up of Nelson's Pillar on O'Connell Street in 1966 and the fatal crash of an Air Corps plane in Terenure in 1934.

After reading his dispatch, the pupils then write back to Florence using hand-written letters, in what the award judges said was a "wonderful display of generations coming together and learning from each other".

Irish Independent

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