A NEW credit union office at Main Street, Castletownbere, opened on Thursday, June 21st.
For the past four years, the credit union operated in the offices of the old Berehaven Credit Union but the manager, Finbarr O’Shea, said: ‘The time had come to find a permanent home.’
The building known locally as ‘John Finbarr’s’ was actually purchased in late 2016 but it was in need of major renovation and also required a major extension to the rear – an area that now serves as its administration centre, leaving the front office plenty of room to accommodate the credit union members.
Finbarr, who has been the manager of Bantry Credit Union since 2015, said: ‘We are pleased that our investment of €300,000 – which includes the purchase price, renovation and fit-out – was money well spent and we are sure that our 1,700 members in Beara will be equally pleased with the results.’
The move also means that the staff have a purpose-built and modern office, and Liz Harrington and Gillian O’Neill – both of whom are from Castletownbere – will be there to deal with all of the existing and new members’ needs.
The contractor, Brian Murphy of Beara Building Services, went the extra mile to finish the project ahead of schedule and anyone who has seen the finished building will agree that it is flawless.
Bantry Credit Union continues to be one of the success stories in terms of the provision of financial services in West Cork. ‘We are now reaping the rewards of our prudent management of our members’ money over the last ten years,’ said Finbarr.
‘Our loan book is growing and that is the real reward for our members,’ he added.
Anna Fitzgerald, the chairperson of the credit union’s board of directors, said the organisation is also proud of its ability to invest in staffing in both Bantry and Castletownbere, but she described the provision of new offices in Beara as ‘the icing on the cake’.