Friday 6 December 2019

Credit unions on alert as lads give it a lash in Lyon

Republic of Ireland fans in the stands celebrate. Photo: PA
Republic of Ireland fans in the stands celebrate. Photo: PA

Charie Weston

The country's credit unions are bracing for a deluge of loan applications from football fans as the Green Army marches on to Lyon for the biggest game in decades against France.

Fans backing the Boys in Green traditionally finance their trips with loans from their local credit union.

Calls to the lenders were up the morning after the team's heroics against Italy saw them into the last 16 of the Euro 2016 championships as supporters seek to fund the ongoing adventure.

The Irish League of Credit Unions, the representative body for 339 credit unions, urged fans seeking a loan to urgently speak to a loan officer at their local lender.

A spokesperson said yesterday: "Credit unions have had calls from members this morning regarding loans for the Euro 2016 Ireland v France game on Sunday. We expect this to continue throughout today and on Friday."

With flights from Dublin to Lyon costing up to €800, the bills for fans heading to the French game are expected to be high.

Hotel rooms in Lyon are understood be filling up fast, with prices per night ranging between €70 and €1,000.

The league spokesperson said that supporters hoping to see the team become the 'kings of Lyon' should be able to get loans if they meet the lending criteria.

"Credit unions, where at all possible, will do their best to facilitate members through the appropriate channels and with the relevant checks," the spokesperson said.

Credit unions have more than €5bn available to lend, but members seeking loans have to supply proof of income, bank statements, and details of outstanding liabilities and outgoings.

The league said: "We would urge any fans looking for a loan to travel to France this weekend to urgently speak with a loan officer or member of staff and to check what the loan criteria is at their local credit union, ie what is needed for a loan application."

Meanwhile, fans scrambling to get tickets to the game in Lyon have been warned by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission to be wary of forgeries.

Irish Independent

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