In short the ILCU:
Promotes the credit union idea and ethos. Represents affiliated credit unions with Government, the EU and other agencies. Provides central services to credit unions.
The ILCU focus and direction is centred on products and services under the following headings:
Trade/representative association As the representative voice of the credit union movement in Ireland, the ILCU work in the best interests of all credit unions. This involves:
Lobbying & Representation Marketing & Communications, Co-operative Relations & Internal Development, Centralised Planning & Democratic Support, Research & Development, Legal & Secretariat Services, International Relations.
Monitoring/supervisory activities The key to creating a balance between a commercial focus and the special ethos of the credit union movement is to establish and maintain a culture of self-regulation throughout the organisation.
Such activities include:
Data Collection & Monitoring, Supervision & Support, The Savings Protection Scheme.
Business support service Advice, guidance and assistance with day-to-day operations and on a range of other issues are critical elements of the ILCU’s Business Support Service.
It covers such areas as:
Insurance, Treasury Management, Training, Credit Union Development, Human Resources, Information Technology.
The offices are to be found at 33-41 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. The ILCU is an unincorporated body governed by a board of directors elected by from its credit union membership.
The Irish credit union movement was founded as a result of the efforts of three dynamic, pioneering and entrepreneurial people namely Nora Herlihy, from Ballydesmond, a teacher based in Dublin, Sean Forde an employee of Peter Kennedy Bakers, Dublin and Séamus P. MacEoin from Kilkenny a Civil Servant working in Dublin.
In Dublin in the 1950’s, they witnessed the effects of high unemployment: sickness, malnutrition, money lending, hunger, poor clothing, poor housing, and inevitably, emigration of one parent or of the whole family. In addition, state unemployment benefits were low and did not last indefinitely leaving many families in abject poverty.
The founders recognised the root of the problem as lying in the scarce availability and poor management of money and resolved to identify a system that would allow people to gain more control over their finances.
Each credit union is an autonomous organisation and manages its own affairs. Credit unions are regulated by separate legislation in both the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland. The Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority is responsible for credit unions in the Republic of Ireland and the Registrar of Credit Unions for Northern Ireland for credit unions in Northern Ireland.In the Republic of Ireland, the Registrar of Credit Unions has the power to regulate and supervise credit unions in order to protect members’ funds and maintain the financial stability and well-being of credit unions in general.Since then people in Ireland have achieved a better way of life through participation in their credit union.