Demands for “full disclosure” of Newbridge Credit Union information

The economic impact of the takeover of Newbridge Credit Union was highlighted by Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon, who criticised the Central Bank.

The economic impact of the takeover of Newbridge Credit Union was highlighted by Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon, who criticised the Central Bank.

He said people accustomed to getting loans from Newbridge CU would now wonder where to go as Christmas approaches.

Dep. Heydon said the loss the institution was an “erosion of democracy.”

He said he first became aware of problems at Newbridge on January 12 with the appointment of a special manager.

He also said that there needs to be “full disclosure of what happened; people need to know the full facts,”# he said on radio.

Deputy Sean O Fearghail said the demise of the credit union is a terrible tragedy for Newbridge which will impact on 37,000 households.

He had raised the issue in the Dail and the Kildare South TDs had met with the Newbridge CU board members.

Interestingly, Dep. O Fearghail said there would have to be a new credit union and he did not believe that the existing entity could be revived.

“It looks like a fait accompli to me,” he said.

Dep. O Fearghail also said there is evidence of people in the Newbridge area turning to moneylenders in increasing numbers and he also urged people not take any more money out of their CU accounts.

Any problems in Newbridge were not brought to the attention of me, said Labour TD Jack Wall adding: “we have to think of the 37 staff members.”

Willie Crowley of the Newbridge Credit Union action group said it would urge a complete boycott of all Government TDs.

He accused the Central Bank of perpetrating a treachery on the people of Newbridge because there was never any mention of a bank taking over.

“This is like sending a patient with flu to a fever hospital.”

Mr. Crowley claimed that two years ago the Minister for Finance had indicated that Newbridge CU was solvent.

“If we are insolvent now it is because of the actions of the Central Bank.”

Despite the NCUAG’s opposition to a merger with Naas Credit Union, Mr. Crowley said this would have been preferred to the PermanentTSB takeover.

He said that Naas CU had not been very clear about what they were doing.