Pilot new Post Office-Credit Union scheme in north Galway


East Galway TD Paul Connaughton is hopeful that Tuam and East Galway will be the focus of a new pilot scheme to examine the sustainability of greater linkages between post offices and credit unions, which would allow closer co-operation between the two and help ensure the continuation of postal and financial services in rural areas as well as smaller towns and villages.
This follows a meeting on Thursday last between Paul Connaughton TD, Finance Minister Michael Noonan and three of his key officials, Mick Culkeen, Manager, St. Jarlath’s Credit Union, Tuam and other Credit Union officials.
The meeting was organised by Deputy Connaughton who has been promoting the securing of postal services through greater co-operation with the Credit Union movement. Speaking following the meeting, Deputy Connaughton said, ‘It was a long and productive meeting, where we explored how to move forward the possibility of allowing Credit Unions to work with the Post Office network, especially in light of the pressure on some of these services, particularly in rural areas. It is my belief that there is an opportunity for both organisations to work together to provide one-stop financial shops in small rural areas and in larger towns and villages as well.
‘Speaking at the conclusion of the meeting, Minister Noonan was very supportive of the idea and he also set out some issues that will have to be worked through, particularly from a legislative perspective. I would hope that over the next number of months we could work out some of the key issues that need to be resolved and I will be pushing that the Minister would use St. Jarlath’s Credit Union in Tuam and North Galway as a pilot project for this new and more interactive service.
‘Contacts have now been formed between the Department of Finance and St. Jarlath’s Credit Union, Tuam to try and move this forward over the next few months and I will be urging the Department of Finance to fast-track any new proposals that come forward in relation to post offices and credit unions.
‘Those present at the meeting also discussed linking in with Bobby Kerr, who is at the helm of a new group examining the future of post offices. I am very confident that if all relevant bodies work together with a common goal and focus, we can deliver a more sustainable future for post offices and credit unions in some of our smaller towns and villages.’