'Irishman of the century' T.K. Whitaker being laid to rest today

President Michael D Higgins will attend the funeral of one of Ireland's most influential civil servants today.

'Irishman of the century' T.K. Whitaker being laid to rest today

President Michael D Higgins will attend the funeral of one of Ireland's most influential civil servants today.

The funeral mass of T.K. Whitaker will take place in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook at 11.30am.

He died last week, aged 100.

Named Irish man of the 20th Century in 2001 T.K. Whitaker has widely been hailed as the country's most influential civil servant.

He was a driving force behind Ireland's first programme for economic expansion during his time as Secretary of the Department of Finance, and was govenor of the Central Bank during a time of economic unstability in the 1970s.

In a statement after his death, President Michael D Higgins said his work stands as the embodiment of the finest qualities and aspirations of the Irish people.

He also said the Good Friday Agreement would be unimaginable without Whitaker.

Hundreds of people attended his removal yesterday evening and similar numbers are expected for his funeral in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Donnybrook.

T.K. Whitaker will be buried afterwards in Shanganagh cemetery.

Born in Co Down and raised in Drogheda from the age of six, he was just 39 when he took over as secretary general at the Department of Finance in 1955. As head of the Department in the early 1960s, he was credited with helping to modernise the Irish economy, after decades of decline.

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan said: "By promoting free trade and encouraging inward investment, Whitaker’s influence helped to change the Irish economy for the better."

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