Court halts election for League of Credit Unions presidency
The High Court has granted an emergency injunction to stop the Irish League of Credit Unions holding an election for a new president today.
The move throws into turmoil the organisation that represents the majority of credit unions in the State.
Teacher Brian McCrory, from Belfast, obtained an injunction late last night stopping the league holding its election this morning. Mr McCrory, who was represented by Phelim O'Neill Solicitors and senior counsel Richard N Kean, is bidding to become president of the league. The leading contender is Blanche Ronayne.
The interim injunction granted by Ms Justice Caroline Costello states that the league is restrained from "holding the election to fill the position of president of the Irish League of Credit Unions" until a further order. The court ordered arbitration to take place between Mr McCrory and the league.
Controversy in the credit union movement blew up this week when the Irish Independent obtained a draft report, prepared by accountancy specialists Mazars and questioning the use of funds in a rescue fund operated by the league. The report indicated funds may have been put at risk.
Mr McCrory's lawyers argued in the High Court that an email sent by the league to all its member credit unions this week responding to the Irish Independent report undermined Mr McCrory's electoral chances.
His lawyers cited the email, signed by league president Martin Sisk and acting chief executive Ed Farrell, was a misuse of League of Credit Union funds.
The email stated: "The leaking of the draft report to the media is obviously very disappointing at a time when credit unions are showing strong growth and positive results. This is clearly an effort to undermine the League and the Savings Protection Scheme as part of a concerted campaign to influence the outcome of the upcoming Presidential election at the AGM."
The board was meeting last night, ahead of today's AGM in Killarney. It is understood attempts were being made to reach a compromise between Mr McCrory and the league that would allow elections to go ahead.