The Credit Union movement has, across many decades, impacted profoundly on the lives of Irish citizens. Rooted in a spirit of human solidarity, it has grown and flourished across Ireland. Today it is an integral part of our communities, and a familiar and reassuring sight in our towns, villages and suburbs. The Credit Union movement is, of course, an all-island body. Indeed, the late John Hume, whose achievements were so distinguished and so impressive, once said that setting up the first Credit Union in Northern Ireland is the act of which he was most proud.
It is also a movement that embraces the principles that must lie at the heart of any ethical and democratic society – unanimity, compassion and participative citizenship. It was those principles that first impelled Nora Herlihy, Sean Forde and Seamus P. MacEoin to found the Credit Union movement, and those values that have inspired the many generous volunteers who continue to give freely of their time and expertise to the sustaining and development of the movement.
In a rapidly changing Ireland, the Credit Union movement has been challenged to continually evolve and adapt, while maintaining the caring vision and sprit of the human empathy that has always been its driving force. It is a challenge to which you have all risen with commitment and dedication, ensuring our credit unions remain economically viable, while continuing to respect the dignity of their members.
May I take this opportunity to thank and commend you for the vital contribution you make to our society, and to the lives of the many citizens who have been empowered by their membership of a Credit Union.
I wish you a most fruitful AGM and every success as you continue your important work.
Michael D. Higgins, Uachtarán na hEireann, President of Ireland
I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the NSF Committee to wish you all a very Happy New Year.
2022 was another very busy year, characterised by meetings with the Department of Finance Registrar of Credit Unions, CUMA, CUDA, and ILCU. We met with Sean Fleming in March regarding the policy framework and we look forward to an announcement very shortly on this issue. I am delighted to say as Chairperson that we have a good working relationship with all rep bodies and stakeholders which is hugely important as we are all working together for the betterment of the Credit Union sector.
I like to thank Minister Sean Fleming for the engagement on the Credit Union (Amendment) Bill 2022 which is in the Dail at the moment for approval. This bill will make a big change going forward. I would also like to wish Minister MacNeill well in her new role and look forward to working together for the continued betterment of the sector.
You can read a copy of the bill here on the NSF website. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
NSF Board Oversight/Supervisory Committee workshops in 2023 will focus on the roles and responsibilities of committees. There will be a focus on how the BOC/Supervisors can assess the work of committees in the operation of Part IV and IVA of the Credit Union Act and how to report this assessment to the Board. We will examine the importance of positive engagement with the Board of Directors, including reporting on evidence of good practice. We will examine how best to reinforce the volunteer nature of BOCs/SCs and Boards. We welcome suggestions for subjects to be covered in future workshops and seminars. Please email the NSF Training Officer, Deirdre Kelleher at [email protected].
The NSF Committee is very much looking forward to meeting with you all at our different training events throughout the year.
Joe Tobin, NSF Chairperson