Central Bank commemorates Whitaker @ 100

08 December 2016 Press Release

• Video pays tribute to T.K. Whitaker’s achievements as Central Bank Governor
• Professor Frances Ruane to deliver 2017 Whitaker Lecture
• T.K. Whitaker’s memoirs will be available in Central Bank North Wall Quay Archive

As T.K. Whitaker turns 100, the Central Bank has announced that the 2017 Whitaker Lecture will be delivered by Professor Frances Ruane and that TK Whitaker’s papers will be available in the new Central Bank archive opening at its new offices in Spring 2017.

A new Central Bank video “100 years of Whitaker – Governor, Statesman – Perspectives from the Archive”  features Governor Philip Lane, Director of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway Alan Ahearne, T.K. Whitaker’s biographer Anne Chambers and Central Bank Records Manager Ross Higgins.

The Central Bank established the Whitaker Lecture as a flagship lecture series which takes place every two years. Governor Lane said “Next year’s lecture is especially fitting as the 2017 lecture will be delivered by Frances Ruane. Frances was one of the first female economists in the Central Bank in the mid-1970s. She arrived when Ken Whitaker was Governor. And very similar to Ken Whitaker’s career, her research work has focussed on the performance of the Irish economy, the policies that are needed to help Ireland prosper in an integrated world economy where international trade, international finance and international corporations play a major part in the Irish economy. This originated in many ways with Ken Whitaker’s vision in the 1950s but over the last 30 years Frances Ruane has been a leader in analysing the interaction between openness and Irish economic performance.”

T.K. Whitaker served as Governor of the Central Bank from 1969 to 1976. Governor Lane described his tenure as “a fascinating period for the Irish economy. Ireland joined the EU, there were many discussions about the link between the Irish pound and sterling, and during that period we had the first oil shock. Looking back over his time in office, many of the questions I now face as Governor, Governor Whitaker also faced: in terms of how can Ireland live under a monetary system where the exchange rate is fixed to some external anchor; how do we control consumer credit; how do wages adjust under fixed exchange rate? I was very impressed looking over the archive materials by the quality of the analysis.”

Governor Lane outlined the plan for public access to Governor Whitaker’s records from his time at the Central Bank “I’m pleased to announce that our new building on North Wall Quay will feature a dedicated archive space which the public can visit to conduct research about the Central Bank. This will open in Spring 2017. One of the flagship archival materials that we will have is the memoir Governor Whitaker wrote about his time in office.”

Date of Whitaker Lecture to be announced in due course.

Whitaker Lecture- Past Speakers:

2015 – Professor John Fitzgerald, Trinity College Dublin

2013 – Professor Harold James, Princeton University

2011 – Professor Cormac O Grada, UCD School of Economics

2008 – Mario Draghi, Governor of Bank of Italy

2006 – Axel Weber, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank

2004 – Jean Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank