Newbridge Credit Union protest march attracts 1,000 people

An estimated 1,000 people took part in a protest March through Newbridge on Saturday as the row over the future of Newbridge Credit Union intensifies.

An estimated 1,000 people took part in a protest March through Newbridge on Saturday as the row over the future of Newbridge Credit Union intensifies.

Numerous community groups in the town were represented at the event and people of all ages attended.

It was organised by the Newbridge Credit Union Action Group, who are opposed to the notion of a merger of Naas and Newbridge Credit Unions.

The attendance included MEP Marian Harkin, who represents the North West, as well as local TDS Martin Heydon and Sean O Fearghail.

The march took place to the Ryston Centre, which is home to the local boxing club and NCUAG chairman Willie Crowley said this was appropriate because “we are united in a common cause at a club that has produced many a brave and fearless fighter down the years and who have remained undaunted in the face of many an adversary.”

He said the group does not exist to fight but to “demand what is right”.

He stated that people are seeking information about the future plans for the credit union and he insisted that members of the credit union have a right to have a vote on its future.

“We have the right to elect a board and the right to exercise our own free will”, he said and in an apparent reference to the Central Bank he hit out at “faceless bureaucrats” for attempting to force bank-driven controls and bank vested interest on our Credit Unions.

He criticised the cost of employing a special manager at the credit union and claimed that neither a problem nor a solution has been identified to the members.

Mr. Crowley went on to pay tribute to the many volunteers in Newbridge who provide their time free of charge to assist many community and voluntary groups in the area.