Dr. T.K. Whitaker Turns Sod on New Extension

St. Joseph’s CBS most distinguished past pupil, the man credited with rescuing the Irish economy in the 1950s, TK Whitaker, returned to his former school on Jan 28th 2014 to officially turn the sod on a new extension. Now aged 97, Dr. Whitaker was once voted the greatest living Irish man and despite a stellar career as an illustrious economist respected throughout the world, he never forgot his roots. he was educated by the Christian Brothers and took first place in the country in the Civil Service entrance exams. With these and many other achievements Dr. Whitaker has certainly set the bar high for all the CBS students following in his wake. As John McEnaney, the Chair of the board of management said, he is a true example for all students, something for them to aspire to. Mr. Whitaker was very relaxed and chatted and joked with staff and pupils at the school and when the time came to turn the sod he proved to be a dab hand with the spade. Principal David Madden said that everyone at the school was honoured that Mr. Whitaker had agreed to perform the official ceremony.Work on the new school extension will start at the end of the month and is scheduled to finish in March 2015. The new building will comprise two technology workshops, two construction studies workshops, three science labs, music room, maths room, multimedia learning lab, guidance suite, resource suite, library, religion room with meditation room and two lecture rooms. The school currently accommodates over 650 students and when the extension is completed by March 2015 it will be in a position to accommodate up to 900 students Dr. T. Whitaker was educated by the Christian Brothers in Drogheda in the late 1920s and praised many of the Brothers and lay teachers there, especially Peadar McCann, for their contribution to his education. He later obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics, Latin and Celtic Studies and was awarded an M.Sc. Economics degree by private study from the University of London. An Irish economist and former public servant,he is credited with a pivotal role in the economic development of Ireland. At 97 years of age, he is still regularly consulted for his views on Irish economic issues. As Secretary of the Department of Finance, he and his team of officials published the First Programme for Economic Expansion (1958) which brought the stimulus of foreign investment into the Irish economy. In 1969 he became Governor of the Central Bank. A policy adviser to Jack Lynch on Northern Ireland, he also served as Chancellor of the National University of Ireland for twenty years.