Seanad tributes to TK Whitaker on his 100th birthday

Senators praise ‘architect of modern Ireland’ and former Seanad member

Jerry Buttimer: he said Dr Whitaker’s life was “the epitome of what good public service should be’’

Jerry Buttimer: he said Dr Whitaker’s life was “the epitome of what good public service should be’’

 

Tributes were paid in the Seanad on Thursday to former civil servant and Senator TK Whitaker to mark his 100th birthday.

Seanad leader Jerry Buttimer said it was important to pay tribute and recognise greatness, something not done enough in this country.

“TK Whitaker is certainly a person who, for all of us as young people growing up, was the person who we looked up to. He was the architect of modern Ireland. ’’

Mr Buttimer said Dr Whitaker’s life was “the epitome of what good public service should be’’.

Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan said Mr Whitaker had ended the protectionist policies and effectively opened up free trade. “He was named Irishman of the century in 2002. I thank him for his work, now that he is 100 years young.’’

Senior position

Independent Senator David Norris said Dr Whitaker had been a very distinguished member of the House.

“He was a very young man when he entered the Civil Service in a senior position. For a while the great poet Thomas Kinsella was his private secretary, which is a rather curious and interesting fact.’’

Dr Whitaker, he said, was a great Irishman. “We are all living with the positive benefits of the economic plan that he conceived.’’

Sinn Féin Senator Máire Devine said she wished Dr Whitaker a happy birthday. “He has done an excellent job in the public interest and for this State.’’

Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan said he had the privilege of meeting Dr Whitaker and he wished him the best.