E-denderry: Offaly town gets smart tech to monitor parking, litter, air

10 Mar 2021

Paul Delaney of Cellnex with Catriona Hilliard of Offaly County Council. Image: Cellnex

In a first for Ireland, IoT tech is being deployed around the town to help manage public services.

The town of Edenderry in Co Offaly is embracing smart technology to help manage parking, litter, air quality and building energy use.

It is part of the E-denderry project launched by Offaly County Council and wireless infrastructure provider Cellnex. This aims to provide a model for how other towns can use internet of things (IoT) technology in the delivery of public services.

Cellnex has deployed sensors and monitoring devices around the town using low-power wide-area (LoRaWAN) tech. It said that this will help the local council better monitor services such as parking and litter collection.

“E-denderry shows the potential for the internet of things to measure and manage our built and natural environment,” said Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan, TD.

“I look forward to seeing the data gathered in these projects, and considering how we might employ this technology throughout the country.”

Repositioning the town with tech

The E-denderry project is the first of its kind in Ireland and has focused on four key areas to date.

Sensors are being used for parking space monitoring, to ensure appropriate use of loading bays, wheelchair spaces and EV charging points. Sensors are also being used to measure how full public litter bins are and when they need emptying.

Sensors throughout the town will provide real-time monitoring of air quality and pollution levels, assisted by the EPA, and new building management systems will be used to remotely monitor energy use, access, lighting and smoke alarms at Edenderry Municipal District offices and at the town’s Community Cabin.

“We are delighted Cellnex chose Edenderry as the location from which to showcase the cutting edge of IoT activities in Ireland,” said Sharon Kennedy of Offaly Council Council.

“[With] the various economic and community challenges experienced in the county in the past year, it’s vital that we explore ways to ensure the town repositions itself to adapt and thrive in an environment where technology and remote working will support exciting new opportunities.”

Paul Delaney, sales director at Cellnex Ireland, described the E-denderry project as “a showcase for what can be delivered” and said the company hopes to extend the partnership into new areas.

“LoRaWAN and IoT may sound complicated, but in simple terms they provide a low-cost and easy-to-maintain way of leveraging the benefits of connectivity to the internet in a range of everyday uses and devices.”

Spanish wireless telecoms infrastructure company Cellnex entered the Irish market in 2019 after it acquired Dublin-based Cignal in a €210m deal. Late last year, the company announced it would launch a new IoT network in Ireland based on LoRaWAN tech, to enable applications for industry 4.0, smart city tools, smart parking, utility monitoring and environmental management.

Sarah Harford was sub-editor of Silicon Republic