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Evan crowned top silver surfer at 95

A 95-YEAR-OLD Google Maps addict has been declared the country's greatest silver surfer.

Dubliner Evan Hassell has defied his age to become an internet-savvy pensioner who spends much of his retirement in cyber cafes.

The avid web user fought off stiff competition from hundreds of older computer enthusiasts to become the 3 Silver Surfer of 2010.

He was nominated by his granddaughter Rebekah Fozzard for the 3 mobile and Age Action award, on the grounds that he has driven his family "to distraction" with constant emails.

"He loves looking online at photographs of his family and he is helping his brother in Canada to record his memoirs," said Rebekah in her nomination.

Mr Hassell uses the internet and mobile phone to keep daily contact with his family overseas as well as in Ireland.

His web interest came about when he was just an octogenarian and attended a local cyber cafe, set up at St Anne's Church for over-60s.

Mr Hassell was selected from hundreds of entries who were judged on "their passion and willingness to embrace new technology".

National Broadband Scheme Director of 3, Damien Gallagher, said: "It is never too late to learn something new, and people like our 3 Silver Surfer award winner are an inspiration to older people across the country that would like to try new technologies to improve their day-to-day lives."

Other winners included Fred English (75) from Dublin, who was nominated for preparing online training and fitness plans with motivational music to get his grandson ready for the Cork marathon, and Youtube fan Maureen O'Brien (65), who is battling Parkinson's disease.

A special Golden IT Award went to 102-year-old Daniel Hoare who frequently speaks to his son in Fiji on Skype.