Sunday 22 April 2018

FitzGerald represented all that was best in Ireland

Garret's optimism always kept me going, even when he led me home one night through the thick of fog, says Ivor Kenny

I KNEW Garret FitzGerald first through the Irish Management Institute (IMI) where I worked from 1959 to 1983, years of profound change for Irish business. Ken Whitaker once said: "The stultifying trade barriers have to be cleared of deadwood."

The Government set up the Committee on Industrial Organisation (1961), with Charlie Murray of the Department of Finance in charge. He said in frustration: "Trying to get Irish businessmen to face change is like pulling teeth."

Garret in those early days was deeply involved in the IMI as a member of the council and executive committee, chairman of the editorial committee and as a lecturer. He phoned me and asked if I'd like to pull a few teeth.

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