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Where Credit Is Due

Des Gunning writes: “[TK] Whitaker was careful in life to accord credit where credit was due,” writes Frank Barry (“Changing Direction”, Dublin Review of Books, Issue 87, March 2017).

One instance, however, where Whitaker got is spectacularly wrong was when, anticipating Decca Records executive Dick Rowe’s negative assessment of ‑ and failure to sign ‑ the Beatles, he dismissed the nascent credit union movement thus: “History affords no support for the belief that co-operative credit societies could be successfully established ...”

One lasting effect of that official disdain would be that, when it did emerge, fully-fledged (marked by the passage of the Credit Union Act 1966), the Irish credit union movement could have applied to itself Kevin O’Higgins’s famous description of the first Free State government: “the most conservative-minded revolutionaries that ever put through a successful revolution”.