Barry Lowry has been named Irish Government’s new CIO

24 Feb 2016

Lowry will be the third Irish Government chief CIO appointment in as little as three years

The former head of IT in the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Barry Lowry, has been recommended by the Top Level Appointments Committee for the role of Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) for the Irish Government.

Lowry takes over from Michael McGrath, who stepped down from the role in May last year.

Lowry will be the third Irish Government CIO appointment in as little as three years.

McGrath’s predecessor, Bill McCluggage, who left the position in 2013, had previously worked closely with Lowry in Northern Ireland.

For the past five years, Lowry was director of IT services at Enterprise Shared Services in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

He has also been head of profession for ICT within the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Towards a national ICT strategy for Ireland

A civil servant and IT strategist with 30 years under his belt, Lowry inherits a State infrastructure that needs to be modernised and made fit for purpose in a world dominated by mobile and cloud.

Prior to leaving office, McGrath scrapped the Irish Government’s version of the UK’s G-Cloud because responses to its tender did not meet the standards required.

Instead, he spearheaded a less complex government cloud that allowed public service bodies to securely connect, authenticate users and control their data in a cloud environment.

“The national ICT strategy requires a driving force to progress its stated goals and ambitions and, hopefully, with this appointment, real progress can be achieved,” said Cisco Ireland country manager Adam Grennan, a director for Fast Track to Information Technology (FIT) and vice chair of the ICT Governing Council at IBEC.

“The role of ICT in all our national services has become vital and a figurehead with responsibility for leading, managing and directing across government departments to define and implement an enterprise-wide ICT strategy is essential.

“I hope this will lead to a greater emphasis on industry and government collaboration as this is the only way that real vision for ICT can be realised.”


John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years