The Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council Councillor Seamus Kilgannon hosted a reception in Teach Laighne for the Board, staff and members of Tubbercurry Credit Union to mark their 25th Anniversary celebrations.
Tubbercurry Credit Union celebrates 25 years of service
Attending the ceremony were Charles Murphy, President of the Irish League of Credit Unions, Councillors Margret Gormley and Keith Henry.
In his address the Cathaoirleach said ‘It is a special privilege for me, both as Cathaoirleach and Board Member of Sligo Credit Union, to host this reception in honour the people associated with Tubbercurry Credit Union as we celebrate 25 years of service to this community.
Indeed ‘community’ is key to the culture, ethos and history of the Credit Union movement. By any measure, the figures are impressive: Approximately 3 million members, over €14 Billion in assets. Our roots in the community are ingrained, and we have supported families for major life-events, weddings, school, college, home improvements. There is scarcely a household in the country that has not been supported by their local Credit Union, they have been a discreet and professional presence in people’s lives.
The loyalty and commitment of our members is one of our strengths, It infuses all that we do and provides focus and direction as we plan for the future. While our remit is broad and varied, the Credit Union is really about building communities; I believe its structure is critical to its enduring success – volunteers from various backgrounds, whether farming, educational, business, civic or other, bring their differing perspectives and life-experiences to bear in framing and delivering the policies that guide the Credit Union movement for the benefit of its members
From my own experience, I see a certain symmetry between my role as a Councillor and a Credit Union Board member; Both are focused on engaging with people at important junctures in their lives, and in a wider context to empower and enhance communities. Last year Sligo celebrated is status as ‘European Capital of Volunteering’, and this accolade caused us to reflect on the role of the volunteer throughout the history of the Credit Union movement. Anyone looking for a template or model of voluntary endeavour should look no further than the Credit Union to consider the true value of our community volunteers, who are the back-bone of our organisation.
This commitment goes to the heart of the Credit Union - the Board are all volunteers, giving generously of their time and expertise to their own community. Of course there are challenges ahead; The implications of Brexit may not be quantified for some time, the uncertain nature of the long-term economic landscape – for our part, we have to ensure that our traditional business model is sustainable into the future. In a national context, the Credit Union has so much to offer. The skill base and professional development of Credit Union staff and directors has undergone a sea-change in recent years, and this will continue into the future.
At a reception for our President Charles Murphy last year, I noted the great un-used potential of the Credit Union to address some of the major challenges facing our society, and this is a debate I expect will continue for some time. It is heartening to see so many friends from the Credit Union movement here this evening, can I mention especially two of the founding members of the Tubbercurry Branch, Bernie Reidy and Margaret Gormonly, both of who have contributed enormously to the local Credit Union from the day it was founded.
The Credit Union is a friendly and re-assuring presence in the lives of our Members. Probably what makes so people so proud of their credit union is the sense of ownership people feel towards it, the sense of it being part of their community, and it is this close, personal tradition that lies at the heart of the Credit Union movement.
But this evening, our focus is very much on Tubbercurry and District Credit Union, as we avail of the occasion of this special celebration to honour the many dedicated people who have given exemplary service to this community. You can be assured your contribution is acknowledged and applauded.’
The Cathaoirleach made presentations to founding members Bernie Reidy and Margaret Gormonly, to Francis McDonagh Chair of Tubbercurry and District Credit Union, and to ILCU President Charles Murphy.