Whitaker And Credit Unions


A chara, - T.K. Whitaker's reflections (News Features, December 8th), reminded readers of the Irish civil service's integrity and commitment.

Dr Whitaker quoted from a prayer of St Francis: "It is in giving that we receive." By coincidence, that phrase is included in the invocation used by the credit union movement, based on co-operative credit. The movement is a very successful sector of the modern Irish economy as explained in my book, Credit Unions in Ireland (second edition with a forward by John Hume, Oak Tree Press, 1999).

the white paper on economic development, prepared in 1958 when T.K. Whitaker was the innovative secretary of the Department of Finance, included the phrase: "History affords no support for the belief that co-operative credit societies could be successfully established. . ." That white paper, leading to Irish economic expansion, also examined the sources and uses of savings without realising the great potential of co-operative credit.

Subsequently, the voluntary development of credit unions belied conventional wisdom and negative official attitudes towards co-operative credit. Perhaps the moral is that personal and communal initiatives may surpass even the best official plans. - Is mise,

Anthony P. Quinn, Law Library, Dublin 7.