About us

Ireland’s Largest Credit Union

St. Raphael's Garda Credit Union

Our History

Dublin Castle, 1964

On April 22nd, 1964, thirteen members of An Garda Síochána held a meeting in the historic Dublin Castle to discuss the possibility of forming a Garda credit union. Those present understood the benefits that such an organisation could bring to its members, and wasted no time in forming it. That very day, the first Board of Directors was elected. Sadly, some of these pioneers are no longer with us. 

This picture shows the board of directors from 1966.
We are proud to have 12 committee rooms and our main banking hall named in honour of our original Board of Directors in our branch today. 

about us garda photo
Rear (left -right): Michael O’Brien, Brian Prendergast, Paddy Reilly, Dick Stokes, Tom MacNamera, Paddy McCarthy, Michael Mescall, Tom Casey, Noel Hynes, Sean O’Connell, Hue Gallagher, Jim Healy, Paddy O’Shea Front (left -right): Brian Sheehan, Jim Hayes, Jim Walsh, William Smaul, Paddy Kearney
old st Raphael's crest

The 'Half-Crown' Club

Soon after its formation, St. Raphael’s was unofficially christened the ‘half-crown’ club by the partners of members of the Garda force at the time. This was because new members were required to lodge a minimum of a half-crown (ask your parents if you don’t know what this is!), and borrowing was only allowed for domestic items such as fridges and cookers.


Our first registered office was unofficially known as the Barber’s Shop. It was a room at Dublin Castle, the use of which was kindly allowed by the Garda Authorities of the day. In 1971, we briefly occupied a room at 8 Harrington Street, before finally purchasing, for the first time, an office of our own in 1972. This was at 17, South Circular Road.

Five years later, in 1977 we acquired our home at Dorset Street where we had many a happy year. In June 2005, we relocated to our current building on the Naas Road which is a modern purpose-built building to cater for the needs of the credit union and its members.

Dorset Street
Dorset Street
St. Raphael's Garda Credit Union Building


By the end of 1964, 119 people had joined the credit union. A far cry from the current membership, which exceeds 40,000. Thanks to the foresight and dedication of our various boards of directors over the years, we have grown to become Ireland’s largest credit union.

New Logo

In 2019, after more than 50 years, St. Raphael’s decided to change the way it looked with a new identity and a fresh appearance. The new logo includes many different elements including the four circles, representing the four provinces of Ireland and the traditional Garda colours; the two shades of blue and the gold, a clear reference to the Garda badge. The four interconnecting shapes represent the co-operative nature of the credit union and the strong, confident lines reflect our strength and security. 

St Raphael's Garda Credit Union Logo

St. Raphael's Today

Ireland's Largest Credit Union