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Credit Unions in Focus: Three CUs Supporting Communities

Community 2 min read

08 Jul 2021

As we continue our Credit Unions in Focus, where we share stories of the great work credit unions do within their communities, we take a look at three credit unions who have launched community sponsorship awards, charity fundraisers and funding initiatives for local schools.


Cara Credit Union supports Community Projects  or up to €10,000 with Lauri Healy Award

  Photograph: Domnick Walsh info@dwalshphoto.ie

Cara credit union have extended their Lauri Healy Award, which saw €120,000 pledged to support community based projects in their locality.
The award, which was established in 2017, has been extended into 2021, due to the struggles faced by local charity groups, clubs and societies during the pandemic. Sean Roche, the chairperson of Cara Credit Union’s Community Sponsorship Committee told the Maine Valley Post that Cara Credit Union is very conscious of its ethos.

 “One way of rewarding the trust and loyalty we receive from our members is by supporting projects that can help build better communities and add value throughout our common bond in Tralee, Castleisland, Killorglin, Ballyduff and Causeway.  

Our Lauri Healy Community Sponsorship Awards helps us achieve this objective with the distribution of funds used to encourage and complement the fantastic work that community groups do to make all our lives and communities a better place to live and work.

“We are now accepting applications and would encourage community groups who are undertaking community projects of €10,000 or more to enter. Previous unsuccessful applicants are also eligible to apply,” said Mr. Roche.


Mullingar Credit Union Support Longford Schools with Secondary School Fund

Since their merger with Longford credit union, Mullingar credit union have extended the secondary school fund to schools in the Longford area.  
The initiative, launched in 2018 with €125,000 to schools for projects, was established to support the educational needs to nuture the talent of young pupils in local secondary schools, and help increase awareness of the credit union ethos with young people.

The fund is student led – meaning the student council must work with the school management to come up with project ideas that would not normally be funded by the department of education or parent’s council.
The initiative aims to incorporate the ideas and views of as many of the students as possible. The students are encouraged to spend allocated funding locally where possible.

Some of the bigger projects over the last three years that have been supported by Mullingar credit union are funding towards STEAM room (Sciences, Technology, Engineering the Arts and Mathematics) Chromebooks. Sports pitch dugouts, 3D printers, funding towards an all-weather sports court, refurbishment of changing rooms, iPads, GAA team kits, Outdoor seating many more.

Andrea Corroon, Youth Officer with Mullingar credit union explained to the Longford Leader: in MCU we believe a credit union should support the wider community through financial and other means where possible. Since our amalgamation with Longford credit union in January 2020 we have worked with the local office in Longford town to extend our funding to schools and organisations in Longford.’

‘This year, MCU are delighted to welcome three new Longford town-schools to the scheme. Mean Scoil Mhuire, who received funding of over 3,600 for outdoor seating, Templemichael college who received funding for over 3,500 for outdoor seating and St. Mel’s college who received 3,500 for Chromebooks.


Killarney Credit Union Raises €3,000 for local Charities.

Staff and Directors from Killarney Credit Union walked over 4,200 km to raise €3,000 for local charities.  The fundraiser, which was undertaken in March, saw participants run, walk and jog just over 1,000km per week.

As well as promote wellness among staff, the initiative sought to raise money for local charities in the community including Kerry rape and sexual abuse centre, MS South Kerry Branch, Recovery Haven, Kerry Mental Health Hospital, St. Anne’s Community Hospital, and Taobh Lenn, and Meals on Wheels in Kenmare.


The credit union is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial institution which sits at the heart of many communities in Ireland. If you’d like more information on how to get involved with a local, family-friendly financial provider, why not contact your local credit union?