€10,000 up for grabs in Clonakilty Credit Union’s Big Bonanza 50th Anniversary Draw

Posted on: 5th August, 2016

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Staff members Fiona O'Callaghan, Emma Griffin, Marie O'Leary (Manager), Noirín Brennan, Val O’Sullivan and Helena Patterson.

As the 50th anniversary of Clonakilty Credit Union approaches, its Board of Directors, management and staff have organised a fantastic cash prize draw to acknowledge and reward those that have made this milestone possible – the members. The Big Bonanza 50th Anniversary Draw has a top prize of €5,000, with a further five members walking away with €1,000. The winners will be drawn on October 6, as part of a special day of celebration.

Having first opened its doors on October 4, 1966, Clonakilty Credit Union has grown steadily over the years to now have over 9,000 active members using it for day-to-day banking, savings and loans.

“We wouldn’t be here today without the loyalty of our members,” says staff member Noirín Brennan. “The members are the focus of the anniversary celebrations. We want to give something back to them and that’s why we decided that a cash prize draw would be the best way to acknowledge that loyalty. Hopefully with €5,000 the lucky winner can buy something much needed or treat themselves to a fantastic holiday.”

Entry into the draw is free and open to all members over 18. To be included you just need to fill out a short questionnaire that is currently being posted out and return it to the Credit Union before September 16. “If for any reason you don’t receive a form, such as a recent change of address, please contact us,” says Noirín. “And of course, the draw will also be open to anybody who joins before September 16!”

Although governed by the Central Bank and overseen by the Irish League of Credit Unions, Clonakilty Credit Union is entirely run by its Board of Directors, which is made up of 11 local people. In actual fact, between the Board of Directors, Board Oversight Committee and various other committees, this credit union relies on over 20 volunteers who Noirín credits as the backbone of the organisation. “Its amazing that despite having full-time jobs and busy lives, they are so dedicated that they give up their time for continuous training to be completely up-to-date with regulations. It’s a massive commitment but it ensures the health of our credit union.”

The committee’s longest serving member is Kevin Mullen, who has given over 40 years of service to an organisation he clearly loves. “It seems like only yesterday that I became involved,” he says. “It’s a marvellous service; I wouldn’t have anything if it wasn’t for the Credit Union. Over the years, I myself have borrowed for things like my children’s education and, as with everyone, it’s been a helping hand to us as a family over the years.”

But Kevin is modest about his contribution, preferring praise to go to the staff. “They are at the frontline,” he says. “They are there to meet the members every day, to explain things and to help them. And they’re all such lovely people. To me they are the heart of the credit union.”

As back to school/college approaches, the Credit Union will be the first port of call for many people but Noirín says that they see all sorts of reasons for loan applications. “Everything from cars to dental work. Sometimes it’s just to get people over a hump when the finances won’t stretch. And because we offer such competitive rate it makes sense for people to borrow from us.”

Kevin agrees and adds, “When you buy a car with a credit union loan, you own that car from day one, even if you get into any difficulties with repayments. If members ever have a difficulty, there’s no need for them to hide. We won’t be there with a stick, rather we’ll be there to listen and to help.” It’s important to remember this when borrowing from the Credit Union.

On October 6, the Clonakilty Credit Union building on Kent Street will see business as usual in the morning before celebrations kick off after lunch. There will be various family activities before the day concludes with the Big Bonanza Draw. Everybody is invited along to help mark this very special day.

There’s still time to avail of all the benefits of joining Clonakilty Credit Union, including a chance at winning a hefty sum! Visit them on Kent Street to see how they can help you.

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Wave to Mary! 65-year-old Mary Nolan Hickey is running around the entire coast of the Island of Ireland to raise funds & awareness for the RNLI and is currently running the roads of West Cork.

Mary is the only woman to have completed every single Dublin Marathon (all 38 of them). She’s also completed the grueling Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert, known as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’.

To mark her 50th year involved in Athletics Mary is taking on her biggest challenge yet (even though she thought she’d already done that when completing the Dublin Marathon when she was over six months pregnant!) She wants to raise as much money as possible for the RNLI.

Mary started her epic journey in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, on New Year’s Day. She aims to cover up to 5000 kilometers, using coastal routes, over the next five months. She hopes to get back in time to get her first pension payment in June when she turns 66.

Mary will stop off at as many RNLI stations as possible, on her once in a lifetime adventure. As far as she knows no other woman has ever taken on this challenge.

Speaking about her journey Mary said:

“I wanted to prove that age not a barrier. Coming from a coastal town I have a deep affinity with our local RNLI station & volunteers and have huge admiration for the brave men and women who risk their lives to save lives at sea”.

Mary, who’s depending on the goodwill of communities along her route for accommodation, has been astounded by the response so far. “The support has been overwhelming,” she said. “I have met the most amazing and encouraging people along the way”.

To see more about Mary’s adventures, and to pinpoint her location today, check out her Facebook page - rnlilapofthemap2018.

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20th March, 2018  ·  


This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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17th February, 2018  ·  

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