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Donore Credit Union celebrates 60th anniversary

 

Donore Credit Union is Ireland’s oldest credit union and this year it has celebrated its 60th birthday.

The business opened in 1958 and is based in Rutledge Terrace off Donore Avenue and not far from the South Circular Road. It is the first credit union in Ireland to reach this impressive milestone, with more following close behind.

The Liberty newspaper spoke to David McAuley, the CEO of the credit union.

“Donore Credit Union is a unique credit union,” McAuley said. “We were the first credit union in Ireland, one of the six founding members of the Irish League of Credit Unions and a pioneer for one of the most successful cooperative movements in Ireland.”

The credit union was set up by the three Byrne sisters who were concerned about the poverty in their area and the unwillingness of banks to lend to people who had very little assets.  Having learned about credit unions in the US they decided to set up one in their own community. The movement grew from “fireside chats” held in people’s kitchens to a nationwide cooperative movement with bases in every city, county and major town in Ireland.  

“Donore Credit Union is proud having started as an idea to have grown into a €34.5m size organisation,” McAuley said. “We have the presence, size and financial viability to remain an independent Credit Union owned by our members living in Dublin 8.  In Donore Credit Union we believe there is a place for mid-size credit unions where members get personal service and have access to modern IT services such as online banking.”

The southwest inner city credit union has marked its 60th anniversary with a number of events for members, local schools and community organisations, on the first Friday of each month it has a ‘fun Friday’.

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