Continuity and change in monetary policy and banking in Ireland 1922-43

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Drea, Eoin Paul
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University College Cork
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The primary objective of this thesis is to examine the development of monetary policy and banking in southern Ireland from the attainment of independence in 1922 (gained through the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921) to the establishment of the Central Bank of Ireland in 1943. This research serves to challenge the overwhelming concentration on the findings of a small number of major works, most notably by Ronan Fanning, Maurice Moynihan and Cormac Ó’Gráda, in the existing historiography. This thesis is based on the research hypothesis that there were two key factors impacting on the development of monetary and banking institutions in Ireland in the 1922-1943 period. First, an exogenous institutional context, primarily Anglo-Irish in focus, in which the wider macroeconomic landscape directly influenced monetary policy and banking in Ireland. Second, an individualist context in which the development of relationships between key individuals dictated development patterns and institutional structures. This research highlights that key Irish policymakers, such as Joseph Brennan, evidenced a more flexible and realistic approach to banking and monetary affairs than is currently recognised. It also develops three further issues which have been overlooked in the existing historiography. First, a germ of monetary reform existed in Ireland from as early as the mid-1920s and was consistent in promoting alternative policies in the period to 1943. Second, this research challenges the view that the creation of the Currency Commission in 1927 and the establishment of the Central Bank of Ireland in 1943 were insignificant events given the continued stagnation in Irish monetary policy in the decades after 1943. Third, this thesis identifies that wider international trends did influence Irish monetary and banking affairs in the 1922-43 period. At both an institutional and more individual level the process of monetary institution building in Ireland was directly impacted by wider international experiences.
Banking , Ireland , Currency Commission , Central Banking , Monetary policy
Drea, E. P. 2013. Continuity and change in monetary policy and banking in Ireland 1922-43. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.