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The concept of Credit Union came to Ireland from Germany in the late 1950s.  The first Credit Union was established in 1958.

A number of meetings of people interested in the formation of a Parish Credit Union took place in 1965.  After many long hours of debate and encouragement of the local P.P. the Rev. Cannon Conor Heaney, Athenry Parish Credit Union was formed on 16th January 1966.  Tommy Coppinger became the first President, John Stack Treasurer and Máire Bean Uí C1éirigh Secretary.  Other Directors werd: Frank Kilkelly, Donal O’Cinnéide, Michael McGrath and Christy Barrett.  The first Supervisory Committee were, Dick Smyth, Joe Walsh and Christy Archer.

The first Office, a room in the Canton Hall, was given free of charge by the Canton Hall Committee.
The total savings on opening day was £9.  The seeds of Credit Union were sown on that day and have been nurtured by very active and innovative Boards of Directors and Staff over the past 29 years.  Today Athenry Credit Union has assets of almost £8 Million.

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Written by Tom Lane

Published here 08 Feb 2021 and originally published November 1995

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