Group vows to resist credit union takeover

About 100 people show up for meeting in Newbridge community centre

Newbridge Credit Union Action Group has vowed to fight its takeover by Permanent TSB. Photograph: Frank Miller

The Newbridge Credit Union Action Group has vowed to fight its takeover by Permanent TSB once it had sought legal advice based on Central Bank documentation.

At an impromptu meeting in the town's community centre yesterday, about 100 members showed up to vent their frustration at the High Court order, incredulous as to why they had lost control of their institution.

Group chaiRrman Willie Crowley said legal remedies would be sought in Ireland and Europe. "This is not a done deal, we still have an opportunity to contest this and we intend to take that option," he said.

The crowd was told that while large loans had been given out, the credit union had remained profitable.

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Built up by volunteers
There was also considerable ire at the prospect of losing a 45-year-old institution built up and run by volunteers.

Mr Crowley said that since the appointment of the special examiner last year “we have sat in silence . . . our directors have been put on trial and found guilty without an opportunity to defend themselves.”

Many insist the appointment of the examiner precipitated a run on accounts with one source putting the figure at €30 million in withdrawals in the first week alone.

Former director Maria McDonald addressed the issue of large loans and in particular one amounting to €3.2 million. “This person is still a member [and] that loan will be paid because this person is in the process of selling a premises that will pay the loan,” she said. There were some angry exchanges, however. One member of the audience accused the ex-directors of “running the credit union into the ground”.

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard

Mark Hilliard is a reporter with The Irish Times