Happy Birthday T. K. Whitaker

Windowshopper

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Today's T. K. Whitaker's 100 birthday.

Here's an article by Anne Chamber's about the man.

Centenarian TK Whitaker built State


Sorry, I couldn't make time for a more detailed OP but I have to rush.
 


Malcolm Redfellow

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Good spot.

The Anne Chambers piece should be balanced with that by Diarmaid Ferriter.

Two things from the latter:
[1]
the observation of Garret FitzGerald is probably most fitting: Whitaker “shared all the great qualities of the first generation of civil servants but with the crucial addition of imagination”.
And here am I getting into Aengus Nolan on Joe Walshe.​
and:
[2] Ferriter's comments about the quality of Chambers' writing:
the arrangement between author and subject is too cosy; the book is replete with exclamation marks, superlatives and constantly expressed astonishment at his brilliance, and it feels too hermetic.
and the standard of editing:
This sort of sledge-hammer approach, often apparent, grates, as does the sloppy editing; he is referred to as Ken and Ken Whitaker throughout, often on the same page, and some of the footnoting is insufficient by not giving enough basic information, including dates.
Both are too-common features in texts published in Ireland, for the Irish market. Both authors and readers would benefit from more aggressive editing.​

Whoever wrote the wikipedia entry on Whitaker (and last edited just this morning) deserves a round of applause: it's among the best of the genre.

One post-script: if we are going to extend from Whitaker himself to other Great Irish Public Servants, can we include a personal hero, Richard Hayes.
 
Last edited:

razorblade

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I cant even begin to imagine living that long and what a year to be born happy birthday to such an ispirational man shame he never gets the recognition he deserves.
 

gleeful

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the observation of Garret FitzGerald is probably most fitting: Whitaker “shared all the great qualities of the first generation of civil servants but with the crucial addition of imagination”.
To be fair to that earlier generation, Whitakers solutions were not possible until the late 50's.

Previous generations of civil servants oversaw impressive developments like the electrification of Ireland, the shannon scheme, Foynes, etc. There was no FDI to be attracted from the 1930-1955.
 

Windowshopper

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To be fair to that earlier generation, Whitakers solutions were not possible until the late 50's.

Previous generations of civil servants oversaw impressive developments like the electrification of Ireland, the shannon scheme, Foynes, etc. There was no FDI to be attracted from the 1930-1955.
Yes, and sometimes I think the narrative to do with protectionism can be too simplistic. While the governments clung too for way too long and to disastrous effect I think its early application had some merit in the context of the times.
 

gleeful

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Yes, and sometimes I think the narrative to do with protectionism can be too simplistic. While the governments clung too for way too long and to disastrous effect I think its early application had some merit in the context of the times.
Perhaps we could have changed policy a few years earlier - it may not have worked earlier. We forget how decimated Europe was after the war - there was no FDI to attract and no market to export to. Europe was extremely protectionist too. That began to change with the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
 

Clanrickard

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One of the greatest Irishmen. Happy Birthday.
 

Cellachán Chaisil

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Good spot.

The Anne Chambers piece should be balanced with that by Diarmaid Ferriter.

Two things from the latter:
[1]

And here am I getting into Aengus Nolan on Joe Walshe.​
and:
[2] Ferriter's comments about the quality of Chambers' writing:

and the standard of editing:

Both are too-common features in texts published in Ireland, for the Irish market. Both authors and readers would benefit from more aggressive editing.​

Whoever wrote the wikipedia entry on Whitaker (and last edited just this morning) deserves a round of applause: it's among the best of the genre.

One post-script: if we are going to extend from Whitaker himself to other Great Irish Public Servants, can we include a personal hero, Richard Hayes.
Hadn't heard of Hayes. Whole incident sounds fascinating. Sometimes, we really don't give our public servants enough credit.
 

Accidental sock

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Happy Birthday.

Big fan of his lemonade.
 

HereWeGoAgain

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Happy Birthday TK., have a fantastic celebration with family and those you hold dear.

You deserve your place in our history books.

Comhghairdeas !
 

cricket

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Here is an example of what real patriotism is all about.
Maith thú, a chara.
 

Bea C

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He's a fantastic man.
He helped me with my thesis, I must fire off a card at the weekend.
 

hiding behind a poster

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Perhaps we could have changed policy a few years earlier - it may not have worked earlier. We forget how decimated Europe was after the war - there was no FDI to attract and no market to export to. Europe was extremely protectionist too. That began to change with the Treaty of Rome in 1957.
Even so, a bit of Marshall Aid would've helped, but we lost any chance of that when Dev went to Edouard Hempel to say sorry about Hitler shooting himself. Probably delayed our entry to the EEC as well.
 

Strawberry

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Even so, a bit of Marshall Aid would've helped, but we lost any chance of that when Dev went to Edouard Hempel to say sorry about Hitler shooting himself. Probably delayed our entry to the EEC as well.
Ireland received two payments under the Marshall Plan, and the only thing that delayed our entry to the EEC was tying our application to Britain's.
 

Bea C

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Ireland received two payments under the Marshall Plan, and the only thing that delayed our entry to the EEC was tying our application to Britain's.
We were too dependent on Britain to have gone alone. We were on a par with sterling until, what, CJ started the process in 1969 in registering the punt with the World Bank, but it was post his, er, 'removal' that it came to fruition.
 

Strawberry

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We were too dependent on Britain to have gone alone. We were on a par with sterling until, what, CJ started the process in 1969 in registering the punt with the World Bank, but it was post his, er, 'removal' that it came to fruition.
I know why we had to tie our application to Britain's, I'm just pointing out to the Blueshirt that De Valera wasn't to blame for the delay in our entry. De Gaulle didn't want the Brits, so ergo, we got vetoed too.
 

Bea C

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One of the main points that I remember him making was how Haughey freaked him out re welfare. He really disliked that kind of spending, the free travel and allowances to widows and such. O'Malley's declaration on second level education sent him ballistic.
 


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