In 2009 the Irish Academy of Management presented the first Distinguished Contribution to Irish Management Practice Award. The recipient of this award was Dr T.K. Whitaker and the award title was changed in his honour to the TK Whitaker Distinguished Contribution to Management Practice Award.
Mr Kieran Mulvey
Mr Kieran Mulvey at the presentation of the Whitaker award
The following citation was given at the presentation:
The Whitaker award is the highest honour the Irish Academy of Management can bestow. It is not simply a lifetime achievement award but is for someone who has made unique, substantial and ongoing contributions to management in Ireland and is named after its first recipient T.K. Whitaker
It’s hard to get a sense of someone who is so in the public eye as much as Kieran Mulvey. In researching this citation I’ve tried to find words and phrases and recollections which would best characterize his substantial contribution to industrial relations and to Irish life in general. One phrase that stands out is from the RTE Radio One News on Tuesday 4th September 2012.
When asked about the Croke Park Agreement and the various politicians who had been saying publicly that it should be re-negotiated, he said on that programme that:
“You do more inside the room than you do by megaphone politics”
From what I’ve researched about Kieran Mulvey I think this is one of the key aspects of the man; he is diplomatic, realistic and knows well how to deal with people of different political, trade union and business backgrounds. He was one of the key architects behind the Croke Park Agreement which many say has provided a foundation for the state to correct the imbalance in its public finances.
Kieran Mulvey has been able to do this because he has a basic understanding of people, gained as this was from his background, education and work in the trade union movement. I’d like to talk about these briefly to give you an idea of the man.
Kieran Mulvey was born in Roscommon town in the early 1950s. The Ireland of his childhood was dominated by emigration which engendered in him a keen sense of justice and equality, and an ambition to make Ireland a better place for future generations. The influence of his craftsman father also finely tuned his attention to detail and to the need to look at the aesthetic parts of our lives as well as the more rational aspects.
He won a scholarship to UCD in 1970 to study History and English. His love of education, fostered by his parents, was further developed by his time in Earlsfort Terrace in Dublin. I think he also saw the importance of education to the individual and to society and one person asked me to mention how well and how consistently he has supported research in Irish third level institutions. This comes from a deep respect for the power of knowledge to inform the choices we make in society, for the privileged as well as for the impoverished. In UCD he became active in student politics and was elected Deputy President of the UCD Student Council and also Deputy President of USI; the beginnings of his trade union activism.
After UCD he began a career in the trade union movement and on his 24th birthday he became the youngest General Secretary of a national trade union when heading up the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT).
He has never been afraid to take on an issue if he feels that it is right to do so and in a landmark case he led the IFUT defence of the fundamental values of academic freedom and tenure- ironically enough against the trustees of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth; part of the college in which this conference is taking place. Though his High Court victory was overturned in the Supreme Court he was to lead the unions to later victories in the vindication of worker rights, such as in a dispute against the State on the transferability into the Universities of the Devlin awards already provided to Higher Civil Servants.
In 1980 he was appointed as Secretary General of the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) in a period of economic crisis in Ireland which was accompanied by a climate of poor industrial relations, including a bitter and protracted teachers’ dispute with the government. Though steadfast in his support of the needs of his members he was among the first in the trade union movement to realise that a new approach to the resolution of industrial disputes was needed; he saw that the climate of industrial unrest and friction benefitted no-one in Irish society.
Through his and ASTI’s membership in ICTU, and on the advice of the National Economic and Social Council the concept of a national social partnership was launched. He was associated with the negotiation of the 1987 and 1990 National Agreements which many believe were a significant contributor to the economic recovery in the 1990s.
His ability to build consensus was obviously one of the reasons he was appointed as the first Chief Executive to the newly established Labour Relations Commission in 1991. A mark of the esteem and respect in which he is held by all political hues is in the fact that over the past twenty years he has been reappointed by governments comprised of all parts of the political spectrum, and is now in his fifth term of office.
When the current economic malaise led to the demise of the national social partnership process he stepped forward once again to suggest an imaginative and pragmatic solution, the Croke Park Agreement, which has become a fundamental mainstay of the international agreement with the troika of the IMF, EU and ECB.
His skills as a negotiator aren’t just evident in industrial relations and he was able to help resolve a very complex dispute between the Cork GAA players and their county board. He now works as Chairman of the Irish Sports Council.
Kieran Mulvey has worked consistently and tirelessly to ensure that Irish society has moved away from what often was an adversarial and fractious industrial relations climate to one which is significantly more consensual, imaginative and embraces much of the best of modern Ireland. He has done this with great creativity, compassion and by suggesting directions which have been appropriate and fair for all aspects of our society. The honorary degrees he has received have been just reward for a man who is a respecter of knowledge and a supporter of researchers throughout the land.
Kieran Mulvey has made a profound difference to our society and so he is and extremely fitting recipient of the Irish Academy of Management’s Whitaker Award. Therefore I would like to call on the Chair of the Academy, Dr Alma McCarthy, to present Kieran Mulvey with the IAM’s Whitaker Award 2012.
Dr John Teeling
Dr John Teeling being presented with the award by Dr Joe MacDonagh, Vice Chairman of the Irish Academy of Management.
The following citation was given at the presentation:
Dr John Teeling is a leading Irish entrepreneur and is best known as the Founder and Chairman of Cooley Distillery. He is a leading pioneer of Irish industry, holding stakes in a number of industrial ventures, as well as being the founder of the only independent Irish whiskey distillers, Cooley Distillery.
John established Cooley Distillery in 1987, with a clear vision to restore some of the ancient brands of Irish whiskey and to create more choice for consumers through innovation and the revival of old distilling techniques. Cooley was the first new whiskey distillery to be established in Ireland in over 100 years, ending a monopoly in the production of Irish whiskey and bringing much needed competition into the industry. Although only established in 1987, the seeds of its creation first came to Teeling in the 1970s when he was studying in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was here that John first conceived of the potential for a new entrant to the Irish whiskey industry. As part of his doctoral studies, he did a project on the demise of the once dominant Irish whiskey industry and at the same time he saw how poorly Irish whiskey was being promoted internationally. Since 1987, Irish whiskey has been making up lost ground and has been the fastest growing segment within the brown spirits industry. The Distillery's main products are Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, and Locke’s whiskeys, as well as Connemara, the only peated whiskey made in Ireland. In 2009, profits in Cooley doubled to €3.5 million, it won the European Distiller of the Year award, and the 15 year-old Kilbeggan was selected as the Best Whiskey in the World. It won the European Distiller of the year award again in 2010. Cooley’s whiskeys are now sold in 45 countries and exports are continuing to expand, particularly in the US, where there is a strong revival in consumption of Irish whiskey. Following the sale of Irish Distillers (owners of Jameson, Paddy and Powers) to the French multi-national firm Pernod Ricard, and the subsequent sale of Bushmills to the UK multi-national Diageo, Cooley today is the only Irish owned whiskey distillery.
John is also a veteran in the natural resources sector, dealing in gems, mineral and oil exploration. He has established numerous companies in the sector, several of which are quoted on the London Stock Exchange. He is the founder and chairman of Petrel Resources, Minco, African Gold, Persian Gold and West African Diamonds all listed in London. He is also the founder and a former director of Kenmare Resources and a former director of Arcon. West African Diamonds, Teeling’s diamond producer in Guinea, merged with the larger private company Stellar Diamonds and is developing a diamond mine in Botswana. Pan Andean Resources operates in the US, Peru and Colombia. Petrel Resources has been active in Iraq for ten years. Persian Gold is exploring for gold and copper deposits in Iran. He has other similar business interests in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Closer to home, Connemara Mining has made a significant zinc discovery in Limerick.
John was an academic for 20 years as a lecturer in Business Administration at UCD. He holds degrees from UCD (B. Comm, M. Econ. Sc), Wharton Business School (MBA), and a doctorate from Harvard Business School.
Dr John Teeling has been a sustained entrepreneur who has contributed directly to Irish business and to education of future entrepreneurs in his time as a researcher and educator.
For his entrepreneurial spirit, for his contribution to Industry in Ireland, and for his success in diverse businesses which have brought credit to Ireland, the Irish Academy of Management believes that John Teeling fully demonstrates the personal and professional qualities that are honoured by the Whitaker Award.
Dr Miriam Hederman-O'Brien
Dr Miriam Hederman-O'Brien being presented with the award by Minister Batt O'Keeffe TD.
The following citation was given at the presentation:
Dr Miriam Hederman O’Brien is an outstanding figure in national and European public affairs who has given decades of expert and committed service to a wide range of institutions, governments and civic programmes. In the words of Donal de Buitléir and Frances Ruane ‘a common thread of her work has been a restless dissatisfaction with the status quo and a passionate desire to make things better’. She has held the posts of Chancellor of the University of Limerick and she has said that a university’s mission: “it is a goal of the University ...to offer [its] facilities to those who are pursuing knowledge, truth and understanding”. One of the hey aspects of her career has been to bring greater truth and clarity
She is a barrister whose Ph.D in Political and Economic Science is from Trinity College, Dublin. Her career has spanned the areas of Social Partnership, the Civil Service, The Media, Freedom of Information legislation, the judicial system, Health Services, Homelessness and the Arts. She is particularly known for trying to bring clarity and equity to our Taxation system in a manner that echoes Oliver Wendell Holme’s remark that “taxation is the price we pay for a fair society”.
Her substantial contribution to the promotion of European ideals, her vision of Europe as a ‘family to which Ireland belongs’ as she terms it, has been a continuing interest. Dr Hederman O’Brien contributes to a range of European organisations: previously Chairman and President of the Irish Committee of the European Cultural Foundation, and Vice-President for almost twenty years of European Movement-Ireland. These examples provide some measure of the enormous scope of Dr Hederman O’Brien’s involvement in a range of public affairs to which she has generously given of her time, energies and professional expertise.
Her distinguished service in the political and cultural life of Ireland and Europe includes membership of the Top-Level Appointments Committee for Senior Posts in the Civil Service between 1992 and 1998; Director of Music Network 1995-2007, membership of the National Council for Economic and Social Affairs 1984-1990 and chairman of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies between 1989 and 1998.
She has also found time to be a Director of the Dublin Grand Opera Society
Committees and Tribunals, those familiar features of Irish political life, have frequently called upon the informed leadership and widely-respected integrity of Dr Hederman O’Brien. Her chairmanship of the Commission on Taxation between 1980 and 1985 resulted in a series of publications on Direct and Indirect Taxation, Special and Environmental Taxation and Tax Administration that remain landmark publications
Recognition of this dedication to the public good has already been shown by several authorities: the Gold Medal for service to Poland (1992); the European Order of Merit (1984); Honorary Doctorates from the Pontifical University of Maynooth (1997), the National University of Ireland, Dublin (2001) and the University of Ulster (2002). Membership of the Royal Academy of Ireland was conferred upon Dr Hederman O’Brien in 2005.
It strikes me that she has made a very profound contribution to Ireland in every respect, and is someone whose selfless dedication has tried to make this country as good as it can be. I will leave the final words to de Buitléir and Ruane, who said of her: she is ‘a rare and exceptional person in the breadth of her interests and the quality of her contribution over so many fields’. For these reasons and more Dr Miriam Hederman O’Brien is the 2010 recipient of the Whitaker Award.
Dr TK Whitaker
Dr TK Whitaker being presented with the award now named in his honour by Minister Éamon Ó Cuív TD.
The following citation was given at the presentation:
Thomas Kenneth Whitaker was born in 1916 in Rostrevor, County Down. He has been described as a great Irishman whose “vision, training, warm humanity and unflagging zeal ensured that the administrative apparatus of the state was applied to the country’s economic transformation at a critical juncture” (Ó Muircheartaigh, 1997: xxii).
His achievements span a lifetime of commitment and dedication to: outstanding public service; the promotion of a economic policy agenda that brought path breaking change to Ireland; the advancement of a political agenda dedicated to engaging with the Northern Ireland question; supporting the artistic and cultural life of Ireland.
He joined the Irish Civil Service in 1934 and had what has been described as a “meteoric rise”. In 1956 Whitaker was appointed Secretary at the Department of Finance at the age of thirty-nine, becoming the youngest ever person to hold this senior position. He served in this capacity for 13 years. Economic development and trade liberalisation became the hallmarks of his efforts in this role. His appointment took place at a time when Ireland's economy was in deep recession. Whitaker believed that free trade, with increased competition and the end of protectionism, would become inevitable and that jobs would have to be created by a shift from agriculture to industry and services. He formed a team of officials within the Department of Finance who produced a detailed study of the economy. This detailed study and analysis culminated in the First Programme for Economic Expansion. This programme became a landmark in Irish economic history, primarily for its brave new ideas around industrial policy and trade liberalisation. It resulted in a radical shift in the developmental trajectory of the Irish economy, away from protectionism towards a policy dedicated to securing FDI for Ireland. Economic growth accelerated as a result of these and related initiatives which he presided over. He served as Governor of the Central Bank from the period 1969 to 1976.
During his period in the Central Bank, he remained policy advisor to Jack Lynch on matters concerning Northern Ireland. In 1977 Lynch nominated Whitaker to the Seanad, where he served as an independent senator from ‘77 to’81. In 1981 he was re-nominated by Garret FitzGerald, where he served until 1982. Whitaker also served as Chancellor of the National University of Ireland from 1976 to 1996. In 1991, the then President, Mary Robinson, appointed Whitaker to the Council of State. From 1995–1996 he chaired the Constitution Review Group, an independent expert group established by the government, which published its report in July 1996.In 2001, Voted "Irishman of the 20th Century. In 2002, voted "Greatest Living Irish Person"