Branch History

St. Canice’s Credit Union – A Brief History of our High Street, Kilkenny Branch

In November, 1963, five years after the Credit Union movement came to Ireland the idea of a Credit Union in Kilkenny was discussed by a few parishioners of St. Canice’s parish. These parishioners interested enough people to form a committee and at a meeting in St. Canice’s Boys’ Club in December, 1963 a decision was taken to go ahead with the formation of St. Canice’s Kilkenny Credit Union Limited. At the beginning of 1964, St. Canice’s Credit Union opened to the public in the Boys’ Club but shortly afterwards moved to St. Vincent de Paul House at Butts Green. The first President elected was Mr. Patrick Cantwell (RIP). In 1969 the credit union purchased its own premises in High Street Kilkenny, (originally The Gem) and appointed its first manager, Mr. Paddy Kennedy.

In the years that followed, St. Canice’s Credit Union moved again to its current High Street premises. It also amalgamated with St. Fiacre’s Credit Union from St. Patrick’s Parish and by 1974 it had a staff of five. In 1979 its first in house computer system was installed and in 1981 the office was opened 6 days a week.

By 1989, after only 25 years in existence, it had over £10 million in savings and a full time staff of nine. This was a truly magnificent achievement in such a short space of time. Little did the founders envisage that the small voluntary co-operative established in St. Canice’s parish would turn into such a flourishing financial institution. As a result of continued growth the High Street office was fully renovated in 1996. During the months of works, business moved to the old Avonmore House (now the Hibernian Hotel) and it was then that the credit union installed its own ATM machine. On 10 December, 2008 the first branch sub office at MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre opened its doors and in April, 2011 Dunnamaggin Credit Union joined with St. Canice’s resulting in an expansion of its common bond.

Again in 2012 another refurbishment of High Street took place. The entire ground floor was demolished and replaced with a new modernised environment with improved technology. Today with over €343 million in assets and just over 57,000 members, St. Canice’s Credit Union continues to grow and to provide a necessary service for a wider local community. It faces with confidence the increasing challenges of regulatory demands and the need to keep up to date with technology. St. Canice’s Credit Union, 54 Years Serving the Community, celebrating the past, preparing for the future.

Ballyragget & District Credit Union

A Brief History

The success story of Ballyragget & District Credit Union is extraordinary by any standards. It all began in 1972 when a small group of community minded people got together to start a Credit Union in the town. The first Board of Directors was elected at a meeting held in the CYMS hall on April 26th 1972 but even at that stage those people could hardly visualise the tremendous progress and success which was to follow. Like all good ideas, the Credit Union principle is simple. A number of people come together, agree to save regularly and to lend at low interest rates the savings of the group to its members to enable them to meet their financial needs.

The Credit Union initially operated from the Canon Malone Hall and in 1974 moved to premises in Patrick Street leased from the Board of Works. Due to the ever increasing volume of business the Board decided to purchase a premises, the old courthouse in Castle Street , in 1982. In 1972 the accounts showed a surplus of £45 and by 1983 this had increased to £17,306, evidence of the rapid growth in the Credit Union.

Increased business and growth in the Credit Union led to the purchase of a new home in Castle Street in 1998 from Ballyragget parish and this remains the home of the Credit Union to this day. The Credit Union has always played an important role in the economic life of Ballyragget particularly since the main banks withdrew their services from the town many years ago.

A debt of gratitude is due to the many individuals who have served as Volunteers and Board Members since 1972, all of whom have contributed enormously to the growth and development of the Credit Union. Today the Credit Union continues to serve the people of Ballyragget and District with a professional and confidential service.

Durrow Credit Union

A Brief History

Durrow Credit Union has grown steadily since its foundation in 1982. Study groups and early meetings began in the old fire station, they progressed to the ICA hall, later to a room in the health centre and band room before the purchase of a premises on Patrick Street. By 1988 after 6 years in existence the former Bank of Ireland premises was acquired. This premises was to become home for the next 20 years. As a result of continued growth and shortage of space a new premises was on the agenda.

Plans for the move began in 2004 when the Credit Union purchased the former post office on Mary Street and planning permission was sought for the development of a new Credit Union office. On 1st May 2008 the new premises was opened for business. On the 20th September 2008 the official opening was performed by Samuel Aclair, the president of the Irish League of Credit Unions. The Credit Union played an important part in the development of Durrow as a community to achieve financial wellbeing and a better way of life, not just for themselves but for their families and their community as a whole.

The Board of Durrow Credit Union spent considerable time examining how their members would be better served. Being such a small Credit Union inevitably restricts the range and services that the credit union can offer to members. The decision to seek a transfer of engagenment was made in order to offer additional services to our members while ensuring compliance with all relevant rules and regulations. On the 3rd November 2015 the members of the former Durrow Credit Union became members of St. Canices Credit Union.

Mountrath Credit Union

A Brief History

In 1968 ten years after the first credit union was opened in Ireland a group of interested people held a meeting in St. Fintan’s Hall with a view to starting a credit union in Mountrath. In Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s most working class people did not have access to credit and the co-operative ethos of a credit union allowed them to work together to firstly save small regular amounts and to loan small sums for productive purposes to the members.

The first meeting in Mountrath; backed by local clergy and business people, was enthusiastically embraced by the local population. The first office was a small room in St. Fintan’s Hall and of course initially members were required to save regular amounts to build up a small reserve thus allowing the credit union to loan small amounts in the future. The credit union soon outgrew the small room in the local hall and subsequently moved to premises beside Telford’s shop. Again within a few years the success of the credit union led to another move, this time premises were rented in Shannon Street. In the meantime the credit union was steadily increasing the hours of opening, savings were growing and the amounts available to lend had also increased.

The success of Mountrath Credit Union was due in no small way to the directors, supervisors and cashiers especially in the early years. Indeed many of the founding members remained and still remain with the credit union. Their wisdom, dedication and sheer hard work was rewarded when in 1993 the credit union was finally in a position to purchase its first premises. However, we did not stray too far from the building that had served us so well, just across the road. This was an exciting time for Mountrath Credit Union, as with the purchase of the new office building a decision was made to employ an office manager and cashiers; thus a new era began.

Had the directors of the time any misgivings about the decision to purchase a premises or to employ staff then their faith was justified in the following years. The credit union went from strength to strength and within fifteen years the decision was made to move to a purpose built premises. We now have another new era of credit union in Mountrath with the latest Board of Directors taking the bold step of amalgamation with St. Canice’s Kilkenny. Just as the Boards of previous years this decision was made for the benefit of the members and we look forward to a bright future.

Rathdowney Credit Union

A Brief History

The origins of Rathdowney Credit Union go back to 18th Oct 1971 to the first meeting of a study group held in the Vocational School Rathdowney. The ICA were the prime movers behind this group. In May 1972 Rathdowney affiliated with the Irish League of Credit Unions and opened its doors for the first time in Church Street. At the end of 1972 shares in the Credit Union were £1,822.

As the membership and assets of the credit union increased, the Credit Union moved into its current location on Main Street in 1980. In the early 1990’s, due to the expansion of the credit union, the first tellers were employed. After refurbishment, the then president, Mary Robinson, officially opened the building in 1993.