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Kinsale Credit Union Celebrate 50 Years!

Now celebrating its 50th year, the former Kinsale and District Credit Union (now known as First South Credit Union), has a great story to tell.On Friday 29th March a great day of celebrations were held at the Kinsale Office, with a dinner being held later that evening in the Trident Hotel.

Background & History

Though in recent times having become a branch of First South Credit Union, Kinsale & District Credit Union came to be formed in 1969.This excerpt is taken from an article by Eoin O’Neill who is a founding member of the Kinsale & District Credit Union from the Kinsale record.

“It was in October 1968 at the AGM of the Kinsale Community Centre that the idea of forming a credit union in Kinsale was first brought up for discussion. It was proposed by the late Joe Gimblett & seconded by Dermot Ryan, that Ballyphehane Credit Union be contacted with the purpose of getting some of their officers to come to a meeting in Kinsale, to advise people on forming a credit union.

The meeting took place at the Kinsale Community Centre on 28th October 1968 and was attended by Mr. Der Cogan, Mr. Brian Lougheed and Mr. C. Malone of Ballyphehane Credit Union.

Mr. Malone addressed the large attendance and gave a clear and simple explanation of the principles on which Credit Unions were founded. The whole movement he said, was founded in the Christian love of our fellow man. It is an association of people, united by a common bond i.e where they work or where they live, who have joined together to

a) Encourage thrift,

b) Eliminate usury and increase the purchasing power of its members,

c) to educate and train its members in business methods, and

d) to promote democracy.

The catch phrase of Credit Union’s he said was, “Not for Profit, Not for Charity, But for Service.” Service to the members by the members is the basic philosophy of Credit Unions.

Mr. Brian Lougheed in his contribution explained that naturally, intending members would be slow to entrust their savings to a group, unless they felt they were trustworthy. As a result, suitable people should be elected to take charge and administer funds etc. He also said that all deposits and loans were insured against loss and that all personnel were required to sign a Secrecy Pledge, to prevent any divulgence of information they became privy to regarding members’ affairs.

Mr. Der Cogan then spoke, saying the first thing to do now was to form a study group of interested people to meet weekly and study the rules of the credit union i.e taking a few rules at each meeting, reading and discussing them amongst themselves and directing any queries they had to him. He continued by explaining that when they had completed their studies, an organisational meeting would be convened at which a board of directors and a supervisory committee would be elected who would run the Credit Union.

The group continued to study the rules every Friday night at the Community Centre, until at last, their studies were completed. They were ready for the organisational meeting which was held in the community centre on Tuesday 1st April 1969.

Rev. Fr. Denis O’Connor C.C presided before a large attendance which included Der Cogan, Brian Lougheed and C. Malone from Ballyphehane Credit Union.

Mr. C. Malone addressed the meeting, explaining to those gathered what a Credit Union was and the philosophy and ethos of the movement both in Ireland and worldwide. He went on to explain the procedure of the organisational meeting and asked that a formal proposal be made from the floor, that a Credit Union be formed and what its common bond would be. On the proposal made by Mr. Joe Gimblett and seconded by Mrs. J. O’Driscoll, it was resolved to form a Credit Union to be known as the Kinsale and District Credit Union with a Common Bond area consisting of the parishes of Kinsale, Courceys, Clontead, Ballinhassig, Ballygarvan and Minane Bridge.

The first directors were Rev. Fr. Denis O’Connor C.C, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Paddy O’Leary, Rev. Fr. D. McGrath O. Carm, Miss Eileen Fitzpatrick, Eoin O’Neill, Mick Brennan, Joe Gimblett, Mrs. M. Goggin, Dan O’Connell and Jim Power. Messrs. C. Malone, Brian Lougheed and F. Tobin acted as tellers.

The first supervisors were Rev. Fr. J. Hyde, Miss S.H. Acton and Peter Jos. Gimblett, while the appointed auditors were M.J. Sheehan, South Mall Cork. Fr. O’Connor. Each thanked everyone for their attendance, paying special tribute to the Ballyphehane officers for their help and assistance, and then declared Kinsale and District Credit Union open for business, with opening hours fixed for 7pm to 9pm every Friday night at the Community Centre.

At the first meeting of Board of Directors Paddy O’Leary was elected President/Chairman, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, Treasurer, Eoin O’Neill assistant Treasurer and Eileen Fitzpatrick as Secretary.

The Credit Committee was Joe Gimblett, Madge Goggin and Frances Madden. The Education committee was Rev. Fr. D. O’Connor CC, Rev. Fr. D. McGrath O. Carm, Jim Power, Mrs A. Egan and Dan O’Connell. Fr. O’Connor stressed that this committee had a very important role to play over the next few months as the majority of people were still unaware of the full benefits of being a member of the Credit Union.

The Kinsale and District Credit Union was officially registered with the Credit Union League of Ireland on 6th June 1969.”


In August 2016, the Board Of Directors of Kinsale and District Credit Union took the decision to amalgamate with what used to be Ballyphehane Credit Union. It is now known as First South Credit Union, as Ballyphehane also took under its wing in December 2015, St. Finbarr’s Credit Union on Cork’s Douglas Street (Office now on South Mall),

In June 2017 Comhar Creidmheasa Chriost Ri (Turners Cross) came into the First South family, it was then decided to re-brand the 4 Credit Unions as First South Credit Union (As Ballyphehane Credit Union was the FIRST Credit Union to be formed SOUTH of Dublin in 1960)

First South’s membership now stands at over 30,000 with assets in excess of €175,000,000 and the Credit Union has €100,000,000 to lend to its members! A far cry from the first opening night of Ballyphehane Credit Union, when it’s members deposited a grand total in savings of IR£32.00 back in 1960.

Thank You from The Carrigdhoun Newspaper goes to First South Credit Union’s Business Development Officer, Jim Deeney, for all of his help in putting this piece together.

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