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Handling Change A History of the Irish Bank Officials' Association by Paul Rouse, Mark Duncan

Handling Change A History of the Irish Bank Officials' Association


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Handling Change A History of the Irish Bank Officials' Association by Paul Rouse, Mark Duncan

The IBOA was founded in 1918 when 350 officials dared defy their banks' directors. Soon it had a membership of more than 80 per cent of all bank officials. Initially ignored, the IBOA threatened strike and the banks agreed to arbitration in March 1920. The arbitration report gives a remarkable insight into the expectations of what a bank official should be, who they should marry, where they should live, and much else. Most of all, it reveals a certain elitism amongst bank officials. The theme of strikes runs through the book. While the 1920s and 1930s were quiet, every decade after that saw industrial unrest and usually strike. Women came into banking during the Great War and the IBOA helped to advance their rights. They now make up three quarters of IBOA members. Work in a bank was tedious and led to a great focus on the social life of the Association. Broadcasters such as Terry Wogan and Bunny Carr began their working lives as bank officials, while Christy Moore took up singing during a bank strike. Generations of sportsmen and women worked in the banks including international rugby players, golfers and numerous GAA stars. From the unionism and elitism of its earlier years to the later militancy, the IBOA was unique in Irish life, remaining a 32-county organisation. The evolution of the IBOA offers a fascinating picture of Ireland - not least how banking moved from a thoroughly conservative industry to one so reckless as to bankrupt the Irish state.

About the Author

Paul Rouse, formerly of Prime Time in RTE, has written extensively on Irish history and on the GAA. He teaches history at UCD. Mark Duncan was central in establishing the GAA Museum. He works on research projects in Ireland for public and corporate bodies. Both are co-authors of The GAA - A People's History (2009) and The GAA - County by County (2011).

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Book Info

Publication date

30th March 2012


Paul Rouse, Mark Duncan

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The Collins Press


304 pages





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