*Donal O’Leary. Photograph: Eamon Ward. 

A new local lift initiative which is the first of its kind in Ireland will see drivers volunteering to give lifts to individuals who require one in Carrigaholt.

Clare Local Lift was launched on Friday at The Long Dock with the company responsible for developing the app by which the scheme functions highlighting how the West Clare village was “the ideal choice”.

Donal O’Leary, VP of Customer Success with Arvoia at the launch stated, “Carrigaholt were identified early in the process as an ideal choice, it is a well-structured, tight-knit, close group. They are the ideal choice for the challenge and hopefully they will get the rewards that is coming for them for the efforts so far. There will be a lot of eyes on this, I would just ask we help by spreading the word, signing up if you’re a driver or passenger in the local community. We in Arvoyer will be one hundred percent behind it to make it a success”.

When someone is in need of a lift in Carrigaholt, they put their details into the app which then sends out a prepopulated message to users. If a driver is then travelling in that direction, he/she will be able to offer a lift. Communication is done by an in-app messaging service and users will not obtain each other’s contact details, they can however check each other’s profile and study the users driving history.

O’Leary outlined how their focus is on connecting people. “We work with a variety of organisations who use our platforms and one of the things we focus on is the experience. We focus a lot on the use of our product, it’s great to see something like this being used in a community. Our background in heritage is in car rental and mobility services but really it’s about connecting people wherever demand outstrips supply and we try to meet that demand”.

Kerry company, Arvoia have been involved in the initiative for two years through feasibility studies, proof of concept all the way to the launch. He praised both Clare County Council and Enterprise Ireland for assisting in bringing the project to fruition.

“Clare County Council’s involvement in this is front and centre, since we got involved almost two years ago we’ve had great support and engagement. The vision and passion from them has been evident since day one. We concentrated primarily on the technology side of things, Monica Meehan and her team worked through various hurdles and obstacles in regulation insurance and engaging with the communities in Carrigaholt and beyond”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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