Roscommon native elected President of Irish League of Credit Unions
Credit unions have elected Roscommon native Gerry Thompson as President of their trade and representative body, the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU). The retired telecoms engineer and father-of-four was elected at the ILCU AGM in Citywest Dublin on Sunday April 28th. The 61-year-old has served as an ILCU Board director for four years, and has held the position of ILCU Vice-President for the past two years.
Following his election, Mr Thompson, a director of Roscommon Credit Union Ltd, said: “I am proud and humbled to be elected to this position and very much look forward to working with all our affiliated credit unions, and the broader credit union movement, as they continue to engage in the further development and diversification of services. As a firm believer in the massive potential of credit cooperation to improve people’s lives worldwide, I will work to ensure the unique credit union model of cooperative financial services continues to prosper across Ireland. I am proud of the ILCU’s all-island remit, and aspire to see credit union services ultimately become the first financial choice for all our citizens, both North and South.”
Mr Thompson comes from the grassroots volunteerism tradition in the credit union movement, and his late father was a founder member of Lanesboro-Ballyleague Credit Union Ltd.He has worked internationally on credit union development projects in Africa, Russia and Central America. He maintains a strong interest in community issues such as local development, tidy towns, social history, sporting activity and in particular is an avid GAA fan.
Mr Thompson will lead a board of 12 other directors, including new Vice-President, Eamonn Sharkey, a director of Omagh Credit Union Ltd., and Treasurer, Helen McManus a director of Kilcloon Credit Union Ltd., who were also elected at AGM. The terms of office are two years and all of the board positions are voluntary.
The ILCU AGM was held over two days, with Minister for Finance & Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe delivering the keynote speech on the opening day. The Minister said credit unions could play an even greater role in the Irish economy, by harnessing their co-operative ethos to capitalise on the growing appetite for ethical, financial services. EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, Phil Hogan also addressed delegates, and spoke of the vital contribution credit unions make to the economy and the Irish agri-sector.
The ILCU is the largest credit union representative body in Ireland. 340 credit unions in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are affiliated to the ILCU. Credit unions affiliated to the ILCU lent out €4.79 billion in loans to members, as at end September 2018. Loans increased by 7.1% over the period. This is close to double the loan growth of 3.6% recorded in 2017.