Gordon Clarke, widely acknowledged as the first IT professional in Ireland, has died on Friday 20 January. Clarke will be remembered for his contribution to the development of computing in Ireland, which began in 1958 when he was first trained by British Tabulating Machine (BTM) Company (later ICL) for supporting a new machine that it had delivered to Irish Sugar. From 1960, Clarke was based in Dublin where he soon became one of the Ireland’s leading computer systems professionals.
Clarke left his first job at ICL in early 1969 and moved to Aer Lingus as a senior systems consultant, where he helped set up a systems services division to sell consultancy and systems development resources. Shortly after, this division became ‘Cara Data Processing’ and Clarke’s role changed to development manager and later, he served as general manager. Clarke would also join New Ireland Assurance where he developed applications software for financial services.
Having been an essential part of the British Computer Society network in Belfast from 1963, Gordon was a founding member of the Irish Computer Society in 1967, lending distinction and integrity to the new professional body for IT in Ireland. He later became a Fellow (FICS) and a highly respected and appreciated member, contributing to intellectual and social activities of the ICS.
You can find out more about the career of Gordon Clarke in his own memoir available here.