Nora Herilhy introduced the credit union movement to Ireland in 1958, with the support of a number of other dedicated pioneers. Since then, the credit union philosophy of mutual self-help has proven very popular.
There are now over 530 credit unions affiliated to the Irish league of Credit Unions throughout the country. In Ireland, over two million members have recognised the value of credit unions, and have savings approaching several billion euros with their credit unions.
Northern Irish Credit Unions
Looking specifically at the North, the credit union movement dates back to the 1960s. In 2008, the Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment reported that there were over 180 credit unions serving in excess of 400,000 members.
These unions are mostly represented by two associations – the Irish League of Credit Unions and the Ulster Federation of Credit Unions. Both bodies have previously raised concerns that Northern Irish credit unions should be allowed to expand their services to match those on offer across the UK.
After undertaking an inquiry, the Enterprise Trade & Investment Committee strongly supported this viewpoint. However, they also highlighted the importance of regulation and more Northern Irish support from the Financial Services Authority. In 2012 Credit Unions in Northern Ireland came under the same regulators as the rest of the UK.
Over the years, we have collected various video content covering the history of Irish Credit Unions.
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