Sunday 17 December 2017

Credit Union body gets through €24k on 'international affairs' in Scotland


Despite the mounting financial problems facing credit unions -- and having to set aside €45m of its bailout fund to prop up ailing credit unions -- the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) spent €24,000 last week to send 14 of its top people to Glasgow for the World Council of Credit Unions annual get-together.

The beano has been held in Las Vegas and Barcelona in recent years. Last year, the ILCU spent around €20,000 to send six of its top people to Las Vegas. The league's forecast spending on "international affairs" will be €126,000 this year. Last year, it spent €113,000 on "international affairs" down from €162,000 a year earlier.

A spokeswoman for the ILCU said there was no remuneration for the individuals in the ILCU that attended the Glasgow conference.

"The ILCU is covering the cost of getting to, and attending, the conference -- nothing more," said a spokeswoman.

"Board members who attended this conference have taken holidays or leave from their day-to-day jobs to attend and remain up-to-date on the latest worldwide developments within the credit union movement."

Last Monday was a big day for Irish delegates, with ILCU president Jimmy Johnstone acting as moderator in a discussion about the role of credit unions in developing countries. ILCU's head of monitoring, Tom Kiely was a speaker at a session on the Government's debt crisis.

The social side of the conference is something that is often overlooked. There was an optional trip to the Auchentoshan distillery every day at 4pm, with visits to Loch Lomond, Stirling Castle and other Scottish sites.

There was a pre-conference tour of London, Stratford-upon-Avon and the Lake District, which cost €1,730 to attend.

After the conference there was a tour of the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles, which cost about €1,130 per person.

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