Citadel100, the pan-European data centre player led by Noel Meaney, is to sponsor up to four students to go to Dublin City University who for a variety of social or financial reasons would not have gone to university.
Meaney established data centre firm Citadel100, following his success with euNetworks whichh he set up after acquiring the former assets of Metromedia after leading a management buyout in 2002. The company has since grown to become a €2bn pan-European telecoms powerhouse.
Prior to the buyout, Metromedia had spent €650m deploying data centres and fibre infrastructure across various European cities including Dublin. Before its parent firm fell into financial difficulties, Metromedia was close to completing a US$110m investment in Ireland, consisting of a US$75m data centre and a US$45m fibre ring that stretched for 100km around Dublin City.
In 2006 Meaney acquired the assets of major European intercity fibre optic network across Europe owned by Viatel Networks in a cash deal valued at €25m. The network was originally built at a cost of €2bn.
This 5,424km long-haul network connects five countries – Germany, Holland, the UK, France and Belgium – and 18 cities. EuNet said that the network, which combines long-haul with last-mile fibre, uniquely positions the company to offer corporate and carrier clients end-to-end connectivity across Europe.
Citadel100 said that it will be sponsoring the Dublin City University Access Scholarship Programme which co-ordinates a range of programmes aimed at increasing participation in higher education by students who for a variety of financial or social reasons do not view going to university as a viable or attractive option.
“The Dublin City University Access Scholarship programme addresses one of the key social commitments of Citadel100; to increase access to higher education for all,” Meaney explained.
“We are delighted to make a donation which will help address the financial burden and other barriers that prevent deserving young people from taking their rightful place at university. The gift from Citadel will support two students through their entire college degree and another two students starting off on their degree (in the fifth year),” Meaney added.
The overall aims of the DCU Access Scholarship Programme are; to develop positive attitudes to education, encourage more students to consider going on to third level education and to support those students who go on to third level to complete their course of study.
Meaney said that Citadel100’s investment in DCU’s Access Programme means that more young people than ever can grasp the opportunity to reach their full potential through higher education. In the long term, equality of participation in university life helps to promote equality of socio-economic class.
By John Kennedy