Gaoth Dobhair Credit Union celebrates 50th Anniversary


The Gaoth Dobhair Credit Union recently reached a milestone when it officially turned 50. To mark the event a night of celebration took place in Teach Jack, Glassagh on Saturday night.
Among those present were the two founder members, neighbours Pádraig Doherty and Máire Mhic Niallais of Ard na gCeapairí, Derrybeg. Máire said that Pádraig approached her looking for her support to set up a Credit Union in the parish. A meeting was called and on January 24, 1972 seven members were registered. The rest is history she said.

In October of the same year a fifteen member Board of Directors were elected and three on the Administrative Committee. The following officers were elected at the next meeting: Chairperson, Máire Mhic Niallais, vice chairman, Neily Mulligan, Secretary, Dinny McGinley, Treasurer: Pádraig Doherty and Assistant Treasurer, Tommy Heffernan.


During the initial years the meetings were usually held in local halls and in September 1973 they leased an office from Bridie Nóra Boyle at Derrybeg. The following year it was agreed to have their own office and in October a new office was officially opened at Páirc na gCapall near the old church at Derrybeg. In April 1980 there were 464 members registered and they had £69,969 in shares. The following year they had 565 members, and had paid out £43,000 in loans and paid a dividend of five per cent. In 1985 it was announced at the AGM that this was their most successful year since its formation and the 1,000th member was registered.


By 1980 the Credit Union had grown so much that a full time staff was employed, while financially going from strength to strength. In May 1988 it was proposed at a meeting that new offices should be built and a suitable site should be sought. In September 1993 the first computer was used in the office. A plot of land between the curate’s house and Molloy’s Supermarket was purchased from the then Parish Priest Fr. Michael Sweeney and work on the new office would get underway at the beginning of June 1997 and would be finished at the end of November of the same year.


Their common bond which embraces the parish of Cloughaneely was being neglected and had to be attended to and in 1995 a sub office was opened in Falcarragh. The Gaoth Dobhair Credit Union also has members in parts of the Rosses.
Bearnaí Ó Gallchóir Chairman of the Board of Directors paid tribute to Pádraig Ó Dochartaigh and Máire Mhic Niallais for setting up this financial institution fifty years ago even though nothing was known about a Credit Union in the parish at the time. He said the Gaoth Dobhair Credit Union is going from strength to strength and he thanked everyone who gave their time freely during the past half century.

More photographs are available in last week’s Donegal News or by subscribing to the digital copy at

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