Bernie Dillon, who died on January seventh, was a founding father of at present’s fashionable info know-how trade in Ireland. His illustrious profession spanned each side of the Atlantic, working with main US firms, together with Dataproducts and Raytheon. Most notably, he can be remembered because the inspirational chief government of Amdahl Eire.
It was my success to be launched to Bernie in late 1978 by Dr David Hanna, head of the electronics division at IDA Ireland. I bear in mind the assembly to today, with each males intensively discussing the necessity for Eire to develop as a sophisticated know-how nation. As a younger man, I sat there listening with awe.
IDA’s takeaway from that assembly was Bernie’s incisive view on the longer term significance of semiconductors and his certainty that Eire should embrace this disruptive know-how. It meant a fantastic deal to him when, in 1989, Intel introduced its plans to determine a significant semiconductor facility at Leixlip, Co Kildare.
In future years, in recognition of his deep information of know-how and his excellent profession in enterprise, he was made a fellow of the Institute of Engineers and a fellow of the Irish Management Institute.
However my very own reminiscences of him are as a visionary, an inspirational chief of individuals, an entrepreneur, a valued adviser, a real Irishman. Our paths crossed once more when he was appointed chief government at Amdahl Eire. Beneath his path, the dimensions of actions undertaken on the Swords facility expanded dramatically to make use of over 800 folks. Employees labored within the manufacturing of refined mainframe computer systems for provide to worldwide markets. Irish pc techniques engineers, upkeep technicians, supervisors and workers members travelled to Sunnyvale, California, to be immersed in world-leading know-how. They returned to Eire with that information. The ability was doubled in measurement to 160,000 sq ft, and have become Amdahl’s gross sales and advertising and marketing lead website for Europe.
Main know-how corporations now got here from everywhere in the world to go to this world-class website in Eire.
Bernie was an inspirational chief who handled everybody equally. Many workers members, female and male, benefitted from his mentorship and steerage. Many careers blossomed. Colleagues of Bernie’s at Amdahl went on to have nice careers. Some turned chief executives of main know-how corporations in Eire. Others established their very own high-technology firm.
Bernie modified folks’s lives for the higher.
It was throughout his tenure at Amdahl that he chaired the primary taskforce at Aer Lingus from 1993 to 1995. In later years, he served as a council member of the Financial and Social Analysis Institute. When he retired from full-time employment in 1996, his imaginative and prescient, in depth expertise and knowledge have been a lot wanted. He joined the Enterprise Ireland mentor programme, suggested quite a few corporations, and have become a non-executive director of 11 rising corporations and served as chairman on 5 of those.
Bernie’s daughter Lisa is a distinguished and valued member of the board of Enterprise Eire at present.
Bernie had the ambition to examine a greater Eire, a assured Eire able to take its place among the many superior know-how nations of the world. He earned the deep respect of colleagues and mates alike.
He selected to make a distinction together with his life and to assist others. He succeeded.
By myself behalf and on behalf of all my colleagues at IDA Eire, I lengthen our deepest sympathy to Bernie’s spouse Kathleen and to Maura, Patrick, Lisa and John and the prolonged Dillon household.
(Chairman of the Board,