As the 1980’s drew to a close, it became apparent that the Credit Union was outgrowing the premises in Drogheda St. and they began to look for an alternative site. Dr. Ryan’s house in Dublin St. came on the market in 1989 and was purchased. Work began in August 1990 to convert it to an office and it opened for business in December of that year.
The new office was large, bright and spacious and could easily accommodate the 3,400 members. It was difficult to imagine that the Credit Union would outgrow it, but the Board made provision for the possibility of extending it in the distant future.
As it turned out, the Credit Union took off at a phenomenal rate from that time, even though the local economy was still depressed. While it had taken twenty years to reach £1m in Savings, it took less than five more to reach £2m.
In 1992 the Credit Union celebrated its twenty-fifth birthday. The 4,200 members had Savings of £2.19m and Loans of £1.97m and the Credit Union had a 22% growth rate for the year.
There was an “Open Week” in July where people were invited to call to the office for a slice of birthday cake. A new computer system was introduced that November as the old one had been outgrown. In December a presentation was made to Freddie Harper, Michael Horan and “Charlie” Noctor at the A.G.M., in recognition of the twenty-five years’ continuous service each had given to Balbriggan Credit Union.
As the 90’s progressed, the Credit Union continued to grow and offer new services to its members, such as Deposit Accounts, Home Insurance, Car Insurance, Bureau de Change, Travel Insurance, etc. The Common Bond was extended to meet the demand from people in the Stamullen / Gormanston area. Sporting clubs received loans to enable them to improve their facilities and the local schools were given grants to help purchase equipment, etc.
When local groups, in conjunction with the Department of Social Welfare, were invited to help set up a M.A.B.S. (Money advice and budgeting service) for the Fingal area the Credit Union was delighted to participate. This scheme enabled people who were in financial difficulties to regain control of their finances, which has always been one of the principal objectives of the Credit Union. In 1997, Balbriggan Credit Union was the first to offer repayment protection insurance as an optional extra for its members.
In 1996 the Board, recognising the phenomenal growth of the Credit Union and anticipating the possibilities offered by the impending new Credit Union Act, set in train a strategic planning process called “Into 2000”, to prepare the Credit Union to continue to serve its members’ financial needs as the town was by-passed and expanded and the “Celtic Tiger” roared.
Who would have thought, back in 1967, just how many people would benefit from Fr. O’Brien’s inspiration? The countless homes which were furnished and improved, the cars which were bought, children educated, weddings and other occasions paid for, holidays taken, etc. are evidence to the people of Balbriggan of “the incredible power of Co-operation”.