If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)

Men of 1916 - TK Whitaker - the last one?

  • 08-12-2016 11:22am
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 18,082 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell

    T. K Whitaker must be the most influential man of 1916 - born 100 years ago today and celebrating his centenary of service to Ireland. Perhaps the most influential man in the 100 years since the GPO proclamation.

    His influence helped us to find our way out of protectionist economics and into the EU. His was the first economic voice to be listened to by our politicians.

    Happy 100th birthday, Mr Whitaker!


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,951 ✭✭✭✭ Fr Tod Umptious

    T.K Whitaker passed away today.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 18,082 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell

    I am saddened to hear of his death, but he had a long and a highly valued life.

    He brought Ireland out of the depressing period of the civil war and the Emergency when Ireland was stuck in a backwater of self sufficiency and protectionism into the modern world where Ireland has taken its place among the nations of the world.

    His achievements were many and include the Anglo-Irish free trade agreement, which led to Ireland joining the EEC. (Small error regarding fishing rights).

    His guidance set Ireland on its way to be a modern functioning democracy.

    It is not his fault we have the politicians we have today.

    May he rest in peace.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,200 ✭✭✭ imme

    An incredible life,

    had a greater/more lasting impression on Ireland than some government ministers.

    RteNewsNow are repeating One To One interview he did with Bryan Dobson in 2007.

    Rte1 will repeat a programme made about his life, on 25 Jan17.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,182 ✭✭✭ ArthurDayne

    One often tends to elevate a person in death beyond what they were in life, but Whitaker was a man I was both fascinated by and had great respect for. I almost feel compelled to say something on the legacy of my fellow South Down native.

    It is a sad paradigm that it often takes dying for one's country to earn the undying adulation of one's compatriots and the immortality and romance which accompanies martyrdom. T.K. Whitaker did not die for Ireland, but he lived for Ireland. His forward-thinking, pragmatic and non-dogmatic approach in recalibrating the Irish economic identity not only brought prosperity to an island once an impoverished backwater of western Europe, but all the corollary benefits which prosperity can bring: better education, multiculturalism, and the broadening of minds. Sentiment can often be a folly, but I do allow the hairs on the back of my neck to stand from time to time when I consider where we are now as a nation, with all the ebbs and flows of prosperity and hardship, and where we were mere decades ago. There is much work to be done, and in post-conflict Ireland it falls to the silent patriots in our businesses, public authorities, charities, schools and colleges to ensure that the seeds sown by people like Whitaker are carefully cultivated in the years to come.

    The portraits of Pearse and Connolly may adorn the walls, their names engraved in the songs and stories of our past. But the legacy of Whitaker is subtly woven into what is, on balance, the success story of modern Ireland. In this modern Ireland, we can find more in common with Whitaker than the Easter revolutionaries -- and should take from him the inspiration that progress is found in rationality, logic and patience. Such qualities are not as vaunted as bravery in battle, they are not as glamorous and edgy as the often flimsy populist cries for change and upheaval -- but they are the qualities which will maintain Ireland's place as a prosperous and peaceful island to call home.

    Rest in peace, a chara.