Saturday 19 August 2017

Whitaker personified a gifted generation of true patriots

Ability and motivation distinguished the late TK Whitaker

'Ken Whitaker was a member of a generation of gifted Irish civil servants who joined straight from school when there were few alternative career opportunities and when university education was unaffordable for most'
'Ken Whitaker was a member of a generation of gifted Irish civil servants who joined straight from school when there were few alternative career opportunities and when university education was unaffordable for most'
Colm McCarthy

Colm McCarthy

When Ken Whitaker was appointed to lead the Department of Finance in 1956, the Irish economy had been through a period of persistent failure.

Much of Europe was recovering well from World War II - but Ireland had stagnated, with emigration accounting for up to 4pc of the workforce per annum.

The policy of protective tariffs and quotas in place since the early 1930s had failed to stimulate industrial expansion and the continental countries had commenced the introduction of a more open trading regime with the negotiations that led to the European Economic Community.

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