About Our History

Our History

Our Credit Union, St Declan’s Ashbourne Credit Union Limited, is a financial co-operative owned and controlled by its members for the benefit of the members. Credit Unions came into existence to serve the financial needs of the community on a not-for-profit basis. St Declan’s Ashbourne Credit Union is able to help its members achieve financial independence through regular savings and fair and affordable access to loans.

St Declan’s Ashbourne Credit Union Limited was founded in 1970 with guidance from Mr Pat Fay of the Credit Union League of Ireland, as it was then called. Initially meetings were held in the Parish Hall by a study group. Following this period of preparation, a General Meeting was then held in the Parish Hall and that meeting voted to establish a Credit Union. Considerable discussion took place regarding what name to give the new credit union and “Ashbourne Credit Union” was suggested. However as there is no townland of that name, there was a suggestion that “Killegland” should be used in the name. Killegland is often explained as “Cill Dheaglan”, or the Church of Saint Declan, and so the final agreed choice of name was St. Declan’s Ashbourne Credit Union.

Following establishment, a Board of Directors and a Supervisory Committee were elected. The first Chairman was Sean Conway, the first treasurer was Mick McHale and the first Secretary was Lil Regan.

The next problem was to find suitable premises. Beside the Parish Hall stood a shed used for storing turf from the time when the Hall had been a school. Fr Cogan, Parish Priest, was approached and he agreed to allow the new Credit Union use the shed for a nominal rent. Using voluntary help, a cement floor was laid down, a new door and window were erected and a false roof was put inside leaving the old interior roof as it was. Lino was laid on the floor.

The opening hours of the Credit Union were very short in those early days: Monday and Friday from 8.00pm to 9.00pm and Sunday mornings from 11.15am to 12.30pm. Shortly afterwards the Credit Union reached the stage when it gave out its first loan, £50 Irish Pounds.

In the early years membership grew slowly but with the development of Garden City, the population of Ashbourne expanded rapidly and this was also reflected in the membership of the Credit Union. By the early 1980’s the shed was too small for the needs of the Credit Union and the board charged Ned Carey, Jimmy Dwyer and Manus O’Byrne with the task of sourcing new premises. A number of places were considered but when the Bank of Ireland vacated its offices beside Conway’s Pharmacy, the ideal new location was obvious.

The building was bought for 58,000 Irish pounds at auctioneers Ganly Craigie. Some years later, the office was too busy to be manned entirely by volunteers and there was a need for more daytime opening hours. Two part-time staff were employed and a little later an Office Manager. This was satisfactory for a time but, by the early 1990’s, the Credit Union business had outgrown the premises once again. However, on this occasion, the Board decided to extend the building rather than move elsewhere and on 1st March 1995, the builders moved in. During the following months the Credit Union operated from a number of rooms provided by Lockie Sullivan over his shop. The builder, George Glynn of Wotton Construction, built a second floor and re-arranged the downstairs layout. When completed, the Credit Union had a safer public area, more suitable working conditions for the three staff members, a boardroom and filing rooms. In addition, the appearance of the building was much improved as its exterior matched the adjacent building.

Almost immediately, with the huge growth in membership and business, the inadequacies of the premises were soon apparent. In the meantime, a new manager was appointed and the hours of the staff were extended. The Credit Union needed premises that would be suitable for the foreseeable future. A director, Bill Birmingham, was given the task of liasing with Meath County Council. The Council agreed to sell a site to the Credit Union and Gerry Irvine, architect, was asked to design a suitable building for the Credit Union’s long term needs. M.G. Builders (Ashbourne) constructed the present fine building and the Credit Union transferred there in April 1999. The cost was £500,000 Irish pounds and the old premises were sold at auction for £360,00 Irish pounds.

Interested in joining our Credit Union? Find out more in our Membership section.

Contact Us
  • Tel:
  • Fax:
  • Email:
  • Address
  • (01) 835 1177
  • (01) 835 3213
  • Main Street, Ashbourne, Co. Meath
Opening Hours
  • mon
  • tue
  • wed
  • thu
  • fri
  • sat
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • 09:30 - 16:30
  • 09:30 - 16:30

*Closed on Bank Holiday Weekends

St Declans (Ashbourne) Credit Union Ltd is Regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Reg No. 294CU