2019 David O’Leary Award winner Mary Cleary


Deputy CEO of the Irish Computer Society (ICS), Mary Cleary has won the inaugural David O’Leary Award in recognition of her ethical and professional leadership over many years.

The IFIP IP3 David O’Leary award from REDDS Capital was named in honor of a man who made an enormous contribution to the IFIP Global Industry Council and who embodied and was a role model for, all the qualities of a true Professional. To be presented each year, the award will acknowledge an individual or organization that has promoted and demonstrated Professionalism (Professional Practice), has worked as an Ethics Evangelist, and/or has made strides in fostering diversity among ICT practitioners.

In receiving her award at the recent IFIP meetings in Kiev, Ukraine, Ms. Cleary said she was surprised and delighted to be honored in this way.

“My work in the area of lT professionalism pales in comparison to the achievements of the late David O’Leary, who was known internationally for his work promoting professional practice in so many domains – government, academia, industry, and innovation. In times when we try to promote professional practice, we could not have had a better role model for all the qualities of a true Professional than David,” said Ms Cleary.

“This award is a great honor but I must acknowledge my working context, the great mentors I have learned from, Mike Hinchey and Declan Brady and the whole Team ICS, who have facilitated my engagement with IT professionalism in Ireland and across Europe.”

Above from left: Anthony Wong IP3 Deputy Chair; Mary Cleary; Mike Hinchey (IFIP President)

She expressed her thanks to IP3 Chair, Moira de Roche and the organization, and to Stephen Ibaraki and REDDS Capital for the great honour. “I hope that I can use the award to promote our common goals,” she said.

As Deputy CEO of ICS, Ms Cleary has been responsible for ICS Skills and managed the ICS Foundation, representing the ICS at various international forums.

Key initiatives that have blossomed under Mary’s leadership include:

  • The establishment of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition in Ireland as an anchor member of the wider European network
  • The creation and growth of the ICS corporate scheme (to foster membership growth)
  • Awareness and adoption of e-CF in Irish organizations and internationally
  • The creation and growth of ICS’ “Career Plus” CPD scheme
  • The licensing and implementation by ICS of BCS’ CITP scheme for professional certification of members
  • Annual conferences in Health Informatics and in Education, the most successful of their kind in Ireland
  • Awareness and promotion of diversity, both from an equality of opportunity perspective and as a key strategy to address skills needs
  • The “college of equal societies” approach to developing and fostering growth, under which the following work under the ICS “umbrella”:
    • The Business Analyst Association of Ireland
    • The Association of Data Protection Officers
    • IASA (Irish chapter)
    • ITSMF (Irish chapter)
    • The Health Informatics Society of Ireland
  • The establishment and growth of “Tech Week” in Ireland – a celebration of STEM with an ITC focus for school children, students and young people in Ireland.
  • The annual “IT Professionals Day” and workshops, where the need for, and growth of, IT Professionalism is discussed and planned by the IT Community in Ireland.