60 Years a Lending: Ireland’s Oldest Credit Union


Business, Life

Donore Credit Union is celebrating a major milestone this year – marking 60 years in existence. Established in 1958, the Credit Union is Ireland’s oldest and part of a movement of over 450 credit unions across the country.

Humble Origins
According to Donore Credit Union, their roots can be traced back to a meeting of Cumann Muintir Dun Oir (Donore Parishioner’s Union) held in St Joseph’s Hall on Cork Street in April 1958. An inaugural meeting of Donore Credit Union took place on April 26th 1958 at 38 Hamilton Street.

Donore was to be Ireland’s first credit union, with the impetus to establish a locally owned and managed savings and loan credited to two sisters Eileen and Angela Byrne, who had learned of the idea through the National Co-operative Council.

In the beginning the Credit Union operated from St Joseph’s Hall before it rented premises on Ebenezer Street in 1969. In 1991, the Credit Union moved into a purpose-built premises on Rutledge Terrace from where it still operates.
In those 60 years, the Credit Union has grown assets of £100 and a membership of 100 in its first year, to having assets of €34 million and a membership of just under 4,300.

Current CEO David McAuley says:

Donore Credit Union remains a community owned not-for-profit organisation that has helped generations of Dubliners for 60 years …we are a vital financial organisation for this community and intend being here for the next 60 years at least. For generations of people in The Liberties – many of whom have dispersed throughout the country but still retained membership – this is their first port of call for their borrowing needs.

Plans for the Future
Donore Credit Union is now looking to the future, focusing on community while maintaining its independent streak. The CU welcomes new members as it looks to offer new services and new channels of business while retaining all the friendly characteristics of a local savings and loan.

You can find more details on Donore Credit Union, including details on joining at www.donorecu.ie or call into 22 Rutledge Terrace.


DONORE CREDIT UNION ROUGH CUT 2 from Aisling King Swords on Vimeo.

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