Two of largest credit unions in west to merge

Members will vote on creating new institution with combined assets of €500m and 100 staff

Two of the biggest credit unions in the west of Ireland are to merge to form one of the largest in the country with combined assets of about €500 million, 100 staff and almost 100,000 members.

Members of St Anthony’s & Claddagh Credit Union and St Jarlath’s Credit Union will be given the opportunity to vote on the proposed merger once the due diligence process has completed.

The process will also require confirmation by the Central Bank of Ireland in line with regulatory and legislative requirements.


The two groups said they would build on an already strong relationship that has seen extensive collaboration on a range of initiatives over the past number of years.


The combined credit union would be in a position to expand the products and services available to members across an expanded branch network, provide increased opportunities for staff, to support local communities and ensure the long-term provision of services.

Over the last three years, the credit unions have jointly promoted the Renovate 360° and Educate 360° branded loans designed specifically for the renovation and education needs of members as well as the Connect rewards programme.

“A merger is the obvious choice to build the strength and capacity of both organisations,” says Mark Grogan, chairman of St Anthony’s & Claddagh Credit Union.

“Whilst we are both in positions of financial strength, we have collaborated very successfully in a number of areas in recent years and believe a merger will enable us to deliver an enhanced range of services to our members.”


Anna O’Donnell, chairwoman of St Jarlath’s Credit Union, said: “Credit unions need to respond to the challenges in the financial services marketplace and deliver to members accordingly.

“The merged credit union will be more sustainable in allowing us to provide a long-term commitment to members, staff and the community. We are very excited about the new opportunities the merger will provide.”

Members of both credit unions will be asked to approve the proposed merger at their respective agms this year.

Kevin Johnson, chief executive of the Credit Union Development Association, said the two credit unions had been involved in a number of major initiatives.

“Combining the resources of two of the most successful credit unions in the country, will create one of Ireland’s most significant credit unions, which will be hugely beneficial for their members, local communities and Galway in general,” he said.

“These credit unions have been at the forefront of some of our major projects which have benefited them and other credit unions throughout the country. These have included digital-marketing roll-outs, a retrofit home improvement scheme and a unique mortgage offering.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter