The President welcomed all members to the 6th meeting of the club in 2019.
The President introduced the guest speaker Felix Larkin and said that Felix’s family origins were on all sides in Ulster although he grew up and was educated in Dublin first in St. Paul’s College Raheny following that University College Dublin and also at the Institute of Public Administration.
Felix is a historian by training and holds an M.A. in history. Subsequent to graduating from university Felix spent 18 years in the Department of Finance where he became a taxation policy specialist contributing to many of the Finance Acts of the period and in the 1980s he was involved in the setting up of the National Financial Services centre in Dublin. Following that he spent another 18 years in the National Treasury Management Agency which has the minor task of managing our national debt. In that role Felix had responsibility for the personal savings component of the national debt amounting to 15% of the total.
I can advise that Felix obviously with tremendous presience retired a few years early in 2009 before the economic sky fell and our national debt reached unprecedented levels. Following his retirement he has thrown himself into his main area of interest which is history. He has also taken on several organisational responsibilities including Director of the Irish Prize Bond Company, member of the Board of Directors formerly trustees of the Sick and Indigent Roomkeepers society, member and currently Chairman of An Post Philately Advisory Committee, member of the Statutory readers committee of the National Library of Ireland, Editorial adviser and external contributor to the Royal Irish Academy’s dictionary of Irish Biography, Academic Director of the Parnell summer school, member of the committee of Ireland society and currently head of the Avondale Trust.
His books include “Terror and Discord” the Seamus cartoons in the Freeman’s journal 1920-1924 published in 2009, editor with Mark O Brien of “Periodicals and Journals in the twentieth century, “Writing against the Grain” published in 2014 an editor with N.M. Dawson of “Lawyers the Law and History” an Irish Legal History Society discourses and other papers 2005 – 2011 published in 2013.
Felix has contributed to many publications and the President said that he has counted no less than sixteen articles,
Felix’s talk today will be about a magazine founded in a time of war, which according to the historian Diarmuid Feritter was launched by two middle class civil servants in 1922 and achieved a circulation of 40,000 copies by 1926. The fact that the editors were committed to lampoon the government with impunity pointed not only to a middle class desire for satire but also the political maturity of the state. Another historian Padraig Yeates said “ a new satirical magazine Dublin Opinion published a cartoon entitled “The night the Treaty was signed” showing armies of Corkmen sprinting up the Dublin road in pursuit government jobs. The appearance of the magazine was a vote of confidence in the new State and a very public re assertion the old cynicism that had been buried during the four glorious years that had followed 1916.