Ballinaloe Credit Union was founded in 1967.
The Credit Union began when a group of people, held a meeting in Creagh National School on the 3rd of February 1967 for the purpose of forming a study group to investigate the methods of running a Credit Union.
On the 7th of April 1967 a meeting was held and was attended by both the President and the Secretary of the Western Chapter. At this meeting the President, Mr. Stephen Deveney, urged the study group to go ahead and form the Credit Union and offered the Chapter’s assistance to the group.
A meeting was held on the 13th of April 1967 at which Mr. Patrick Boland proposed the following: 1) That a Credit Union be formed in Creagh and that it be named Our Lady of Lourdes(Ballinasloe). 2) That the directors and other committees be appointed from the e xisting study group. 3) That anyone from the parish who approaches to become a member will be accepted.
The first Annual General Meeting was held on the 24th of April 1967 in Creagh School. At this meeting the first Board of Directors was elected consisting of 5 members:
- Gus Hynes
- Pat Boland
- Liam Kelly
- Paddy Colohan
- Dan Flynn
A Credit Committee and Supervisory Committee were also elected from the members of the study group. Mr. Gus Hynes was elected Chairman, Mr. Pat Boland was elected Treasurer and Mr. Liam Kelly was elected secretary.
A meeting was held in the Parochial Hall to introduce the Credit Union to the people of the parish.
The first offices of the Credit Union were opened in the Boys Club club rooms at the rear of the Town Hall and were open on Sunday mornings from 11am to 1pm.
The first loan was granted on the 14th June 1967. The amount was £100 and the reason was to purchase a shop refrigerator. That year, a total of 40 loans were granted and the total amount loaned to members was £1,015.
In April 1968 the Credit Union moved premises to the Boys Club rooms in the new Social Centre and opened for business on Friday nights instead of Sundays.
The first dividend was declared at the A.G.M. on the 27th of February 1970. It was decided that a dividend of 5% be paid to the members.
The Credit Union purchased its first office at River St, Ballinasloe in 1977.
In February 1979 a part-time employee was hired to help out on Friday nights and in April 1981 the opening hours were extended to 11.5 hours. On the 14th of June 1984 the Credit Union shares reached £500,000.
The next milestone, the £1 million mark was reached in January 1987 and a prize of £200 was given to Breda Hehir, the member,who bought the 1,000,000th share.
In 1988 the office was open full-time with three people employed.
In August 1989 the office became computerised and a sub-office was opened in Eyrecourt.
A Planning and Development Committee was set up to examine the future of the Credit Union in the Community due to the rapid increase of business. In 1995 an Administrator was appointed to oversee the office due to this growth.
The present premises on Main Street was opened on St. Patrick’s Day 1996 by the President of the Irish League of Credit Unions Mr. Tony Cullinan.
Today both the membership and the shares are growing at a rapid rate and the Credit Union is truly serving its community.