Taking advantage of an initiative of Telecom Éireann to provide internet access at local call rates the Wine Vaults pub in Skibbereen has reinvented itself as a cyberpub.

In a departure from the more traditional pub fixtures of pool tables and juke-boxes, the Wine Vaults has now installed a computer terminal, offering its patrons a gateway to the information superhighway.

Triona Carey of the West Cork Cyberpub Network thinks the surfing the Internet in a pub environment suits the Irish mentality. It offers a relaxed area for people who may wish to access local news or send emails, but it is in keeping with the usual social interaction that takes place in a pub.

The Wine Vaults along with other pubs in Skibbereen, Bantry, Dunmanway and Courtmacsherry have formed the West Cork Cyberpub Network. The purchase of computers for this venture is supported by Murphy/Heineken and West Cork Bottling.

The Telecom Éireann initiative combined with public access computers means many people in West Cork who are interested in learning about the Internet can now do so at very reasonable rates.

This is another indication to say that West Cork isn’t a rural backwater, we’re there and we’re in the 21st century, have a pint and surf the Internet.

A ‘Nationwide’ report broadcast on 20 November 1996. The reporter is Flor McCarthy.