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A little bit of Credit Union History

18 May 2018


 May 18, 2018
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Category: News

The Irish Credit Union movement was founded as a result of the efforts of three dynamic, pioneering people, namely Nora Herlihy, a teacher in Dublin; Sean Forde, an employee of Peter Kennedy Bakers, Dublin; and Séamus P. MacEoin, a Civil Servant working in Dublin.   Having witnessed abject poverty in Dublin around 1950’s, they resolved to find a system that would allow people to gain more control over their finances, hence the birth of the Credit Union movement in Ireland.

What is a Credit Union?

A Credit Union is a group of people who save together and lend to each other at a fair and reasonable rate, we do not borrow externally from money markets so this is a consideration when setting rates and limits for each loan product.  Each Credit Union is owned by the Members, managed by the employees and monitored by the voluntary Board of Directors.   In Ireland over 2.9million members have recognised the value of Credit Unions and have savings approaching €11.9billion.   There are 9,200 active volunteers with over 3,500 employees nationwide.

Credit unions adopt an approach that is familiar to most persons living in rural areas known as “Meitheal” which means a collective effort for the greater good the Community and this is our primary operating objective and ethos.

History of Donegal Town Credit Union

In 1965, as word filtered throughout Ireland of the work being done in Dublin, Donegal Town Development called a public meeting in the Court House in Donegal Town with the hopes of starting a Credit Union.   Following two years of negotiation and training, a newly elected Board of Directors started the Credit Union in September 1967, opening one evening a week.  Following on 1968, they moved up the street to the old cinema (current Ulster Bank location) and opened after 11am Mass on Sundays.  Continual growth seen the opening times expand to 3 nights a week, bearing in mind this was all managed by volunteers.   In 1969, the first employee was engaged and the Board of Directors continued on with their plans to own a plot of land – several locations have since been sourced and used until we found our present home at Miller’s Hill.

Due to ongoing success, the Credit Union had outgrown its’ building on Tirchonaill Street and it was decided to customise a purpose building for use at Miller’s Hill.    One year after ‘turning the sod’ on October 19th 2015, the doors of the state-of-the-art contemporary building opened its doors for business.

Over the next weeks, we will look benefits of becoming a Member and also at GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation coming into effect May 25th ) and what it means for you the Member?

Money Fact of the week: Talks of the introduction of the Euro currency started in the ‘60’s

Donegal Town Credit Union Opening Hours May 2018

Teller Services:

Monday              10:00am – 17:00pm

Tuesday              10:00am – 17:00pm       

Wednesday        10:30am – 17:00pm       

Thursday             10:00am – 17:00pm       

Friday                   10:00am – 17:00pm       

Saturday             10:00am – 16:00pm       


New Membership

Monday              10:00am – 16:00pm       

Saturday             10:00am – 15:00pm


Monday              11:00am – 16:00pm       

Saturday             11:00am – 15:00pm       

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