50 Years Of Irish Credit Union Movement Celebrated In Limerick

From: Dunphy Public Relations
Published: Fri Apr 25 2008

The Board of Directors of the Irish League of Credit Unions attended the event a day ahead of the organisation’s Annual General Meeting at the University of Limerick.

There are currently 521 credit unions affiliated to the Irish League of Credit Unions with 2.9m members and €13.4m in savings.

Credit unions can be found at 25 locations throughout Limerick City and County, including Askeaton, Bruff, Athea, Rathkeale, Castletroy, Glin, Castleconnell, Abbeyfeale, Kilmallock, Mungret, Ahane and Newcastle West.

Addressing those in attendance at today’s function, Councillor Kevin Sheahan, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, commented, "It is heartening to see that in a world of global banking and other financial institutions that there is still a place and demand for community-driven cooperative financial institutions."

He said, "Credit unions in Limerick are extremely varied in their size, membership and in the range of services they offer. However, they all share a basic philosophy and set of principles. That is to offer members the chance to have control over their own finances by making their own savings work for them. By saving together and lending to each other at a fair and reasonable rate of interest, our credit unions continue that generations-old Irish tradition of co-operative self-help."

The Cathaoirleach said he believed that that the success of the credit union movement contributed greatly to the development of the Irish economy.

He explained, "We should not lose site of the fact that the Irish credit union movement was established in response to the scarce availability and poor management of money in this country. Long before Ireland became a prosperous nation, the Irish League of Credit Union Unions was developing a system whereby people were empowered to gain more control over their finances."

"While the Celtic Tiger has been and gone and the financial burdens on families and individuals are greater than ever, there is no doubt that our credit unions will continue to provide a helping hand for members of the community for many years to come", concluded Councillor Sheahan.

The Irish credit union movement was founded in 1958 as a result of the efforts of three dynamic, pioneering and entrepreneurial people namely Nora Herlihy, from Ballydesmond, a teacher based in Dublin; Sean Forde, an employee of Peter Kennedy Bakers, Dublin; and, Séamus P. MacEoin from Kilkenny a Civil Servant working in Dublin.

The international credit union movement has its origins in mid-19th century Germany and now has affiliates in 97 countries.


Note to Editor:
For further information please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy Public Relations at 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com

Mark Dunphy
Dunphy Public Relations
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