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Meet the first Irish person inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame

No, the award isn’t about YouTube videos or doge memes.

Source: Internet Hall of Fame

“I told you this Internet thing would catch on!” Dr Dennis Jennings

IRELAND HAS ITS own member of the Internet Hall of Fame – Dr Dennis Jennings, a physicist, IT expert, Internet pioneer, investor, and company director.

He became one of the latest inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame at the Internet Society’s 2014 Induction Ceremony in Hong Kong today.

Hall of Fame

No, the Internet Hall of Fame isn’t about cat videos and doge memes – it’s a space which honours and celebrates Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders from around the world who have “significantly contributed to the development and advancement of the Internet”.

It is an annual awards program set up by the Internet Society.

Dr Jennings is the first Irish person to be honoured in this way. He joins the other 67 inductees to date, who have contributed great things to the internet.

They include Sir Tim Berners-Lee (known as the inventor of the World Wide Web), Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn (recognised as ‘fathers of the Internet’), and former US Vice President Al Gore (promoter of the ‘Information SuperHighway’). Nice company to be in.

Internet Pioneer

Dr Jennings has been named an Internet Pioneer for his role in the early design and development of the Internet and for research networking in Europe.

In 1985/86, while on leave from University College Dublin, Dr Jennings worked for the US Federal Government as the first program director for networking at the US National Science Foundation in Washington DC.

While there, he developed a vision of an open network of networks – an Internet, if you will. He was also responsible for a number of the key decisions that created NSFnet that became the backbone of the Internet.

As he said later: “I told you this Internet thing would catch on!” He wasn’t wrong.

He was also centrally involved in the creation of HEAnet, the Irish national research and education network, and served on several international research and academic networking initiatives in Europe.

Plus, Dr Jennings was also responsible for the development of the .ie domain name services.

He was Director of UCD Computing Services from 1977 to 1999 and left the university to pursue commercial interests, including angel investment in early stage technology companies.

He was co-founder of 4th Level Ventures and serves as non-executive director on the boards of a number of companies.

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