Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Launch of 2014/ 2015 Art Competition

The Irish League of Credit Unions has today launch the annual All Ireland Art Competition. The competition, which attracts over 30,000 entries each year, is one of the biggest competitions for children and adults alike and has been running for over 30 years.

The Art Competition continues to celebrate the outstanding talent of people, young and old, across the country. It is so very important to allow budding artists an outlet for artist expression on a national stage. This year’s theme ‘Artfest’ is open to interpretation by each entrant but aims to celebrate the creativity, imagination and vibrancy of Irish people and their communities.

Of course art can takes many different formats and this year, we were delighted to have Dublin based graffiti artist VENTS along to help us launch the competition. You can click on the following link to see a time lapse video of VENTS in action.

For anyone interested in participating in this year’s competition, there are two categories – a General Category and also a Special Category for entrants with a physical or intellectual disability. There are five age categories, ranging from 7 and under to 18 and over. Entries must be submitted via your local credit union.

As ever, local winners at credit union level in each category go forward to Regional Finals. Winning entries from regional level go through to the National Final. Prizes will be awarded at each stage and a National Awards Ceremony will be held in February 2015 in Croke Park and will be hosted by TV personality Marty Whelan.

I would like to wish all entrants the very best of luck and I hope to see you at the National Final awards ceremony in Croke Park in February.

Friday, 5 September 2014


Following the initiation of a review of credit unions using private investigators and a meeting with the Data Protection Commissioners in August 2014, the ILCU has today called on Government, as a matter of urgency, to address the issue of regulation in the private investigation sector.
The ILCU strongly feels that it is unacceptable that a situation prevails whereby private investigators are not licensed or regulated in this country. This is something that we believe the Government needs to urgently address. The ILCU has also this week issued a working document to all credit unions outlining stringent guidelines on data protection. The document complements the materials on data protection previously circulated by the ILCU to our affiliated credit unions and outlines the statutory obligations that credit unions have when dealing with members’ personal data. This has been done to ensure that all credit unions are fully informed and can make the best decisions when it comes to hiring private investigators or tracing agents.
While the Data Protection Commissioner maintains a register of private investigators operating here, this is not a licensing or vetting process. The responsibility for regulation lies not with the Data Protection Commissioner but with the Private Security Authority which was established under the Private Security Services Act 2004.  The Private Security Authority (PSA) commenced preliminary work on assessing the scope and activities of the private investigation sector in Ireland in May 2013 by way of questionnaire . However, the ILCU is not aware of when the licensing of private investigators will be introduced nor does the PSA appear to have given any commitment in this regard as there is no statutory mechanism in place. It is completely unacceptable that a situation prevails whereby private investigators are not licensed or regulated in this country and we immediately call on Government to rectify this situation.
The Irish League of Credit Unions has strongly condemned the use of illegal activity by some private investigators and are taking the necessary steps to ensure that no credit union that is using a private investigator or tracing agent is breaking data protection law. The ILCU will continue to provide data protection training through the CU Learning & Development Department and will work closely with the Office of the Date Protection Commissioner to produce a Code of Practice on Data Protection for Credit Unions in the coming months.