Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin TD has said that the closure of Berehaven Credit Union should act as a wake-up call for the Government on the crisis in rural Ireland and the critical role that the Credit Union movement plays in the country’s social fabric.
Deputy Martin commented: “The very fast and unexpected closure of Berehaven Credit Union came as a shock to Credit Union savers and borrowers across the country. The fact is that in towns and villages in every corner of Ireland, the Credit Union is one of the core pillars of the community and in rural Ireland, where service after service is being degraded and ignored, the local Credit Union is one of the last community services standing.
“This closure should act as a wake up call for the Government. They have ignored rural Ireland since taking office and systematically dismantled the community sector across the country. Garda stations have closed, small schools and post offices are under threat and emigration is taking the heart out of communities everywhere.
“As these communities reach a tipping point of viability, any threat to the Credit Union movement must be taken seriously and urgently addressed.
“But I would like to see the Government also take this opportunity to look more widely at the effect that its policy agenda has had on rural Ireland. There is a crisis and the Government is blind to it. As Fine Gael and Labour regroup over the summer recess, I would urge the leadership of both parties to start thinking of the country outside the M50 and begin bringing forward a sustainable policy agenda for rural Ireland.”