Donore Credit Union first in Ireland to reach 60th Anniversary

Media Release: 16 January 2018

Donore Credit Union Limited in Dublin has become the first credit union in Ireland to reach its 60th anniversary. The credit union, which is based in Rutledge Terrace in Dublin 8, first opened its doors in April 1958.  This anniversary marks a significant milestone for the credit union movement in Ireland - and is a testament to the enduring trust in and success of the movement in this country.

Donore Credit Union can lay claim to having the first credit union account holder in Ireland. 88-year-old Dublin resident Aingil ni Bhrion is still an active member – and was also a founding member of the credit union itself, along with her sister Treasa ni Bhrion. When the credit union first opened at its premises in St Joseph’s Hall on Ebenezer Street, it had assets of £100 and 100 members. It has continued to strengthen and develop over the years and today is a vibrant and successful credit union with assets of €34 million and a membership of 4,300. Donore Credit Union is also one of the founding members of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU).

Throughout the years, the credit union has continued to innovate and develop products and services in line with members’ changing needs. Online banking and EFT services are now available at Donore Credit Union, while a new app is also being developed this year to offer enhanced ease and convenience of service to members.

Donore Credit Union is preparing a timetable of events for 2018 to both mark the anniversary of being the first community-based credit union in Ireland to celebrate its 60th year, and to drive interest in the credit union in the local community. On the first Friday of each month, the credit union will host a variety of different events for members, local schools, local sports clubs and community organisations. A partnership with Griffith College has been established whereby a local student will be offered the Brendan Lynch Scholarship. Brendan, who was a former Lord Mayor of Dublin and a stalwart of Donore Credit Union for the last 50 years, merits recognition for his work in contributing to the success of the credit union. 

Speaking about the 60th anniversary, Catherine Massey, Chairperson of Donore Credit Union said: “Our credit union has served our valued members through recession, emigration, boom and bust and we will continue to do so well into the future.  While we have embraced modernised services such as online banking in recent times, we have always remained true to our core ethos of putting members first and ensuring their needs are at the centre of all decisions we take. We will be marking this special birthday by running a series of events in 2018, starting with our AGM on January 18th to which all our members are invited.  Our programme of events will be member and community focused, placing the credit union at the centre of the local community which we are so proud to serve.”

Ms Massey continued “As the only financial institution between Camden St and Crumlin in Dublin, Donore Credit Union is ideally placed to provide a personalised, friendly, member-focused service to all those living and working in the local area. We would encourage all our existing members and potential members in the community to drop into us at the credit union and enquire about the great events we have lined up for the year ahead. Of course, our friendly staff are always on hand to offer tips and guidance on all of your budgeting, savings and loans requirements.”

Congratulating the credit union on reaching the milestone, ILCU President Charles Murphy said: “Donore Credit Union is in the vanguard of our movement, a movement that brought financial freedom and dignity to many of our fellow citizens. Donore through its example kindled the fire of credit unionism, and by helping establish the ILCU facilitated and embedded the concept of cooperation between cooperatives. For this I extend the thanks of millions of credit union members. The movement continues to go from strength to strength because credit unions like Donore exist to serve their members, not to profit from their needs. Donore Credit Union will continue to provide an exemplary service to its members for a long time into the future. On behalf of the ILCU, I wish Donore Credit Union, its volunteers, staff and members a very happy and prosperous 60th anniversary year.”

There are almost 370 credit unions affiliated to the ILCU in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which together hold assets of more than €16 billion, have 3.5 million members and have €7 billion available to lend. 

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