Credit union to close

SITUATED on the gable end of a building in Chapeltown, Valentia, is an impressive semi-circular green sign which reads 'Caherciveen Credit Union, Valentia office'. Alas, this sign now rings hollow for islanders with the recent announcement of its closure. In view of the closure of two island post offices and a bank branch in the last number of years, this is undoubtedly another body blow to services in the area.

With more and more vital services being lost, Valentia Island is a microcosm of the plight of rural Kerry and rural Ireland in general. Dearly cherished and long established institutions like the Valentia Community Hospital and the Valentia Coastal Radio Station have also been under ongoing threat for a number of years. However, trojan work done by strong committees and able individuals have halted this process thus far. The loss of these two institutions together with what has already been lost would tear the socio-economic heart out of Valentia and what would be lost would be lost and gone forever. It must never happen.