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Our History

"A brief history of Roscrea Credit Union"


The Roscrea Credit Union, Youth Group, “Battle Of The Bands” took place in February 2007 and was a tremendous success with over five hundred people attending one of the most successful youth events ever staged in Roscrea.

One of the largest sponsorship agreements in the history of Roscrea Credit Union was announced in April 07 when the Credit Union entered a sponsorship deal with Roscrea Hurling Club, incorporating all teams from senior to juvenile level.

During the Spring Roscrea Credit Union announced that they were pledging €500.00 towards all residential estates/areas in Roscrea to help with the Tidy Towns effort.  The initiative was part of the Credit Union’s 40th anniversary celebrations and was a tremendous success with approximately €10,000.00 distributed locally

The Roscrea Credit Union Summer Fest was a marvellous success.  The three day event was organised in June by Roscrea Credit Union as part of it’s 40th anniversary celebrations.  The aim of the “Summer Fest” was to provide a number of free events to the general public, and to make the entertainment provided, appeal to as wide an audience as possible.  Free concerts and firework displays etc all featured over the weekend.


There was great excitement in the Credit Union in March when Jed Bartlet the President of the United States of America in the hit TV smash “The West Wing” became a member of Roscrea Credit Union in the guise of internationally acclaimed actor Martin Sheen.  The story gained lots of local interest but we also achieved tremendous national and international interest with Roscrea Credit Union featured in many of Ireland’s daily papers as well as coverage on national radio etc.

In April Roscrea Credit Union established two “Youth Groups” as part of its programme to get more young people involved in both Credit Union and community activities.  Both groups consisted of Transition Year students and each group completed a very successful initial project despite time constraints due to the close proximity of the summer holidays.

Roscrea Credit Union was honoured during the autumn to receive a very special honour at the 36th National Quality And Excellence Awards hosed by EIQA (Excellence Ireland Quality Association). The awards ceremony took place in the Burlington Hotel and Roscrea Credit Union received their award after been selected as one of the “outstanding companies” consistently achieving the Q-Mark. 


In September, Roscrea Credit Union was the main sponsors and organiser of the Aonach Ros Cré festival.  Concerts both indoor and outdoor, puppet shows, historical re-enactments, novelty events and a craft fair all featured as part of the week long festival.

A golden night for all associated with the www.roscreaonline.com website took place in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Thursday the 1st of December.  At a wonderful awards ceremony hosted by eircom net, roscreaonline which is sponsored and managed by Roscrea Credit Union won the prestigious Golden Spider Award for the best community/charity website in Ireland. 


In January 2004 at the annual “Roscrea People Of The Year Awards” Roscrea Credit Union launched a four year strategic pan.  The driving force behind the plan is “The Powerhouse Concept”.  The purpose behind the concept allows the credit union to provide economic and social support in the community on a greater scale than ever before.

Roscrea Swimming Pool Project was given a new lease of life on the evening of May 10th  when Roscrea Credit Union came to the rescue with a €750,000 sponsorship package. There was great jubilation in the town after the announcement was made at a press conference in the Credit Union offices. 

In November, The Credit Union introduced a 7% Car Loan rate making RCU one of the most competitive car loan providers in the country.  Earlier in the year the Credit Union introduced a computer loan rate of 5.9%.  One would find it very difficult to find a better PC loan rate from any financial institution in the world.  The purpose of this unbelievable rate is to encourage families to introduce computers into their homes so that they can enjoy all the benefits the internet has to offer.

In September Roscrea Credit Union became the new Sponsors of Roscrea Rugby Club.

To celebrate the arrival of the Munster Fleadh Cheoil in Roscrea during the summer, Roscrea Credit Union sponsored two major concerts in the town, which proved to be an overwhelming success.  The concerts were free to the public and took place in the Damer House/Castle Courtyard.  The concerts featured some of the liveliest traditional bands in the country and it was no surprise that almost 3,000 people attended the concerts over both evenings.

The community website for Roscrea and its surrounds www.roscreaonline.com continues to go from strength to strength with almost 3000 individual users per week.   


In the summer of 2003 we conducted a second Credit Union survey. The survey helped Roscrea Credit Union to get a better understanding of not only its market size, but also what new products people would like to see us introduce etc. Results were very encouraging and will be used as part of our next strategic plan, which will be launched in the summer of 2004.

Also in the summer of 2003 the Credit Union was major sponsors of the County Fleadh and the Milk Rás. We were also honoured to provide sponsorship for the Special Olympics and we were delighted to host the famous Roscrea Torch for six months.
In September 2003 we introduced a cash alternative to our car Draw. Our first winner was Mary O’Brien who walked away with €18,000 cash.

In November 2003 the credit Union once again offered computer loans at just 5.9%. This is the cheapest computer loan available, and is hopefully just a taste of a whole range of new products and services that will be introduced by the Credit Union in the months and years ahead.


In March the credit union had its 5th ever car draw. This time however the draw was bigger and better than ever before with lots of additional prizes, at a cost of only €2 per month. The first winner of the all new car draw extravaganza was Mrs Anne Burke, Sharavogue, Roscrea.

In April 2002 http://www.roscreaonline.com/ went live over the Internet. The website is totally funded by Roscrea Credit Union with the aim of giving every school, business, charity, club, special interest group and voluntary organisation in the region a web presence no matter how big or small they may be. By demonstrating the unity of the region in this way, it is hoped that the website will attract greater interest in the region thereby increasing its chances of continued growth and prosperity.
In October 2002, Roscrea Credit Union bacame one of only ten companies across all sectors in Ireland to be awarded the very demanding revised Q-Mark standard from excellenece Ireland.


As part of its commitment to Colaiste Phobal in Roscrea, the credit union opened for business in the school in January. To facilitate this service the credit union purchased a specifically designed outdoor office called Sheomra which is fully furbished and equipped to deal with the financial needs of the teachers and students of Colaiste Phobal Roscrea.

In November 2000, Roscrea Credit Union became the first credit union in Ireland to receive ISO 9000 Certification. In February 2001 we became one of the first companies in all sectors of the Irish Economy to have in place the correct procedures and policies to be approved and awarded the all new revised ISO 9001 standard.

In March 2001 Roscrea Credit Union launched its first ever members car draw. The first ever winner was Brendan Ryan from Railway View, Roscrea. The cost of the draw was just £1.00 per month and was automatically deducted from member’s accounts.
As part of the credit unions continuous improvement programme, all full-time staff were invited to participate in an ECDL programme. Eight staff members availed of this unique opportunity. The programme was tailored to each staff member’s individual knowledge and capabilities. The venture proved to be a tremendous success with all the candidates achieving E.C.D.L certification, thereby helping Roscrea Credit Union to remain on the cutting edge of modern information age technology.

Months of hard work came to fruition when word was announced in September that the credit union had successfully passed the strenuous audits and criteria, which are required for the Q-Mark award from Excellence Ireland. Obviously Roscrea Credit Union is very proud of this achievement. While the ISO Certification gave Roscrea Credit Union international recognition, the Q-mark was something very distinctly Irish giving the credit union great national recognition as the Q-mark is without doubt the best known and most sought after quality standards in Ireland.


November proved to be a very memorable and historic occasion for Roscrea credit Union. After a year of hard work and determination Roscrea Credit Union was awarded the prestigious and coveted ISO 9000 Award. In doing this, the credit union also achieved the honour of becoming the first credit union in Ireland and indeed probably one of the first or at least few credit unions in Western Europe to achieve one the most globally recognised awards for quality in the world today.

November also saw Roscrea Credit Union embracing the digital revolution with the launch of our very own interactive website. Very simply, the site will allow users to view the credit unions history, newsletter and AGM reports etc. Members can go a step further and apply for loans online as well as view their balances etc.


The credit union began producing its very popular quarterly newsletter keeping members up to date with all the latest goings on, as well as reviewing its extensive range of products and services.

We introduced three of our most popular ever services in savings stamps, death benefit insurance and repayment protection insurance.

On the 4th of October 1999 the credit union cut its interest rate for the second year in succession and for the second year in its history. The all new competitive rate was a very competitive 9.75%.


The credit union committed £70,000 over a period of seven years to the new community college in Roscrea making the proposed plans for new indoor facilities in the college a reality.

A new state of the art premises was opened on Barrick Hill giving spacious surroundings for members and staff. At the official opening were President of Ireland, Mary McAleese and former President of the I.L.C.U, Mr Frank Lynch.

In October 1998 the interest rate was cut for the first time in the Roscrea Credit Unions history. For the next twelve months the interest rate would be 10.5%.


The revised credit union act came into operation offering credit unions more scope and flexibility for achieving continued growth and success.
The credit union embarked upon a £750,000 programme to renovate their buildings and provide extensive banking facilities and parking spaces by mid 1998.


Assets on 30-9-96 exceeded £8 million/Euro 10.2 million of which shares were over £7.5 million/Euro 9.5million. There was more than £6 million/Euro 7.6 million out on loan. Adult membership stood at 4,532; while there were 579 juvenile members. The decision was taken and implemented to employ a Chief Executive Officer to cater for the future needs of Roscrea Credit Union Limited. Also, two staff members who were on temporary contracts, were offered and accepted permanent contracts, bringing our staff members to a total of six.


In October 1995 Roscrea Credit Union opened its first sub-office in Shinrone. The hours of opening were from 3.00p.m. - 5.00p.m. on Fridays. As was remarked at the time, this was a great departure from the trend of other financial institutions to close small sub-office branches, and was a major injection of confidence into the local community.


In April 1994, it won the Credit Union Cup, a 32-county competition involving 523 Credit Unions for its outstanding service to its members .


In this year Roscrea Credit Union Limited hosted the first stage of The Irish League of Credit Unions’ Junior Cycle Tour of Ireland. Over 700 people were involved in the running of the tour spent the August weekend in Roscrea. It was estimated that the benefit to the town was in the region of £300,000/Euro 380,921.42. The tour necessitated a close co-operation between townspeople, The Chamber of Commerce, The Irish League of Credit Unions, The Junior Cycle Tour Organizers and Roscrea Credit Union Limited. Members here played host to the cyclists and they’re supporting entourages.


Computerized accounts were introduced on March 1st, 1991.


The offices were renovated and a second storey added. Another staff member was employed. Roscrea Credit Union Limited now open six days a week. The modernized premises were re-opened jointly by Mr. Jerry Foley, then President of the Irish League of Credit Unions, and Mr. Michael Smith T.D., Minister for Science and Technology.


Roscrea Credit Union employs its second full-time staff-member. Opening hours extended to five days a week. Savings reach £1 million/Euro 1.3 million the 30th September.


This year saw the Credit Union employ its first full-time employee.


The current site of the premises was purchased. The cost of the Purchase recorded in the minutes was £900/Euro 1142.76 plus fees. Total cost of purchase was less than £1,000/Euro 1269.74


This was the founding year of our Credit Union. On its first collection day, which took place after mass on a Sunday in the Abbey Hall, 57 members joined and saved £12/Euro 15.24!! The rent payable to the Abbey Hall was 5 shillings weekly.