Northeast Galway could become the focus of a new pilot scheme for closer co-operation between post offices and credit unions, to ensure the continuation of postal and financial services in rural areas.
Fine Gael Galway East TD Paul Connaughton has been promoting the idea and held discussions on it with the Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, and three of his officials; Mick Culkeen, manager of St Jarlath’s credit union, Tuam; and with other Credit Union officials.
Dep Connaughton believes both organisations could work together to provide “one-stop financial shops” in rural areas and in larger rural towns. The idea received support from Minister Noonan, although he said some issues would have to be worked through, particularly from a legislative perspective. However Dep Connaughton is hopeful these can be resolved.
“Contacts have now been formed between the Department of Finance and St Jarlath’s Credit Union, Tuam,” he said, “and I will be urging the Department to fast-track any new proposals in relation to post offices and credit unions.”