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Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice

We have endeavoured to take all precautions necessary under the EU General Data Protection Regulations in order to protect the data which we process.

Who we are

‘We’ are Ulster Community Investment Trust (Ireland) Ltd, trading as Community Finance (Ireland), a Designated Activity Company, registered at Ardee Business Park, Hale Street, Ardee, County Louth, company number 316496.

Visitors to our websites

Our website is for promotional purposes, we do not collect personal information.

Cookies are small text files that a website transfers to a site visitor’s hard disk or browser for added functionality, or for tracking website usage.  We do not use cookies to gather personal information such as a person’s name or email address.  In order to measure the effectiveness of our online presence, we may use cookies to identify repeat visitors to our site and to determine the path visitors take on our site.  Any information gathered by the use of cookies is compiled on an aggregate, anonymous basis.

Use of cookies is an industry standard and many websites use them.  If you do not wish to receive cookies, or want to be notified of when they are placed, you can set your webs browser to do so, if your browser so permits.

Social Media

We use the following social media platforms: Facebook and Twitter. When you contact us through these platforms, including via private message, you should be aware that these platforms may collect your data. Please refer the individual service providers’ Privacy Policies (linked) for more information.

Website security and performance

We use a third-party service to help maintain the security and performance of our website. To deliver this service it processes the IP addresses of visitors to our website.

People who call us

When you call our offices we do not automatically record caller identification details.

People who email us

Any email sent to us, including any attachments, may be monitored and used by us for reasons of security and for monitoring compliance with office policy. Email monitoring or blocking software may also be used. Please be aware that you have a responsibility to ensure that any email you send to us is within the bounds of the law.

Any information you provide to us, including in any footer or attachments, in an email may be used in conjunction with any of our stated business purposes. If you do not intend this to happen, you must make clear to us your expectations.

We do not encrypt emails as a matter of policy.

People who make a complaint to us

We take any complaints we receive very seriously. We encourage people to bring it to our attention if they think that our collection or use of information is unfair, misleading or inappropriate. When we receive a complaint we make up a report containing the details of the complaint, which we sometimes term a ‘non-conformance’. This normally contains the identity of the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint. We will only use the personal information we collect to process the complaint and to check on the level of service we provide.

We will keep personal information related to complaints for 7 years.

Job applicants, current and former employees

When individuals apply to work with us, we will only use the information they supply to us to process their application and to monitor recruitment statistics. Where we want to disclose information to a third party, for example where we want to take up a reference or obtain a ‘disclosure’ from the Criminal Records Bureau we will not do so without informing them beforehand unless the disclosure is required by law.

Personal information about unsuccessful candidates will be held for 12 months after the recruitment exercise has been completed; it will then be destroyed or deleted. We may retain anonymised statistical information about applicants to help inform our recruitment activities, but no individuals are identifiable from that data.

Your rights

You have fundamental rights over the data you share with us. These are explained in detail in the Data Protections Commissioner's Website, and we are committed to making it as simple as possible for you to exercise them.

  • You may exercise your right to access, erasure or rectification by contacting us to make the request. We encourage you to complete and return a Subject Access Request form, but you may choose to make the request in another format.
  • You have the right to request copies of your data, which we will provide in a suitable format.
  • You have the right not to be subject to an automated decision which may have a significant impact on you.
  • You have the right to object to our processing your data, and if you are unsatisfied with our response complain to the Data Protection Commissioner

Our purpose for collecting data

We have to hold the details of the people who contact us in relation to our products and services in order to provide them. However, we only use these details to provide the service the person has requested and for closely-related purposes. Any personal data relating to you will be used and recorded by us in accordance with current data protection legislation and this privacy statement.

For example, we might use information about people who have purchased our products / services to carry out a survey to find out if they are happy with the level of service they received.

If we intend to do anything else with your data we will inform you at the point of consent.

The lawful basis upon which we will collect and store your data is:

  • Explicit Consent – You have agreed that your personal data will be processed.  You have the right to withdraw this consent at any time
  • Contractual necessity – Your personal data will be processed because it is necessary in order to enter into or perform a contract with you
  • Compliance with legal obligations – Your personal data will be processed on the basis that we have a legal obligation to perform such processing

To protect your data we have put in place security precautions which include but are not limited to:

  • Physical and administrative security measures at our offices
  • Firewalls and continuously updated anti-virus programmes
  • Encrypted storage

Our company data is stored in the following locations:

  • On servers in our office in Northern Ireland
  • Across several sites connected by a secure communications system
  • By a secure cloud storage provider with data centres in the European Union.

For the purposes of GDPR, we are resident in Ireland, and regulated by the Data Protection Commission’s Office. We do not carry out any data processing outside of the EEA; if that changes, we will inform you.

We do not share data with third parties, other than those whose services we use for social media, payroll, etc. Where we transfer any data to a third party we have put in place all necessary controls to ensure the protection of privacy.

Your data, including the records of any transaction you make with us, will be stored in accordance with our retention policy, and depending upon the nature of the record. For example, financial records will be retained for 7 years as this is common practice.

If you have any questions about us or how we handle your data, please contact us at

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About us

Community Finance (Ireland) are proud to promote our relationship with the Social Finance Foundation, and how our investment into the Third Space Cafe in Smithfield has impacted on the area.


Community Finance (Ireland), formerly UCIT (Ireland), is a Charity which provides loans exclusively to other third sector organisations such as community groups, charities, sports clubs and social enterprises in the Republic of Ireland. Since 2001, as part of the UCIT Group, we’ve committed in excess of €90 million to over 500 organisations.

Community Finance (Ireland) was established in response to decreasing grant support from government and the difficulties experienced by community organisations in accessing commercial loan facilities.

In 2007 Community Finance (Ireland) received accreditation from the Social Finance Foundation, Dublin, to enable the organisation to access a multi-million fund for investment throughout the Republic.

As a registered charity, all profits generated by Community Finance (Ireland) are retained and recycled for reinvestment into the third sector.




Projects supported:

Projects Supported
Projects Supported


360 community
Projects funded

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Community Finance (Ireland) provided Oxfield Sports Centre, County Sligo, with a loan to carry out urgent improvements to ensure the facility’s continued operation


Who do we lend to?

We lend exclusively to Community organisations, charities and social enterprises, both large and small, throughout the island of Ireland. Our borrowers include Faith-based Initiatives, Sports Clubs, Training Initiatives, Childcare Schemes, Housing Associations, Community Transport Schemes, Rural Development Projects and many more…

Finance is available for: buildings and equipment, working capital, cash shortfalls, bridging finance against delayed grants or other confirmed income, and restructuring of debt.

Interest Rates - Community Finance (Ireland) Interest rates are competitive and depend on the individual circumstances of each borrower.

Repayment Term - Community Finance (Ireland) provides both long-term loans and short-term bridging finance. Loan terms are tailored to suit each borrower.

No penalties - Community Finance (Ireland) does not penalise against early repayment of loans

If you would like a chat about whether a loan is the right option for your organisation, our lending team can provide advice and know how gained from many years of involvement within the sector. The lending team can be contacted on Tel: 041 6858637.

As a registered charity, all profits generated by Community Finance (Ireland) are retained and recycled for reinvestment into the third sector.

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€3 million
Invested in Arts & Heritage projects

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Applying for a loan

Our lending team welcome the opportunity to discuss the suitability of loan finance for your project and to answer any questions you might have. The lending team can be contacted on Tel: 041 6858637.

The Community Finance (Ireland) lending process is simple and straightforward:

If your project appears suitable for loan finance, we will ask you to fill in a short application form.

Once we receive your completed application, a member of our lending team will contact you to arrange a meeting in order to further develop your proposal.

Upon completion, your business proposal will be submitted to Community Finance (Ireland)'s Lending and Investment Committee for approval.

Click on the link below to download the loan application form.

Complete the form and then print it out, sign, date and return it to Community Finance (Ireland).

Alternatively, call or email us and we will be happy to send you a loan application form and guidelines.

Loan Application

€20 million
Invested in Enterprise projects

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Community Finance (Ireland) provided Thomastown Town of Food with a loan to facilitate the drawdown of a Rural Development Programme grant

Customer stories

Community Finance (Ireland) loan finance has supported job creation, community engagement and economic development in many towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Explore our Impact Map to find out more about the projects we have funded.


Tourmakeady GAA Club

Tourmakeady GAA Club in the Mayo Gaeltacht caters for over 500 members.  The club's principal activity is the promotion of Gaelic games (men's and women's teams) and additionally there are various other cultural and social activites.

Tourmakeady GAA are currently emarking on an ambitious project to develop a second football pitch, refurbish their existing club house, and construct a community sports centre incorporating a full size sports hall, gymnasium, changing rooms, youth room, and ball skills wall. The local community has raised substantial funding and with the help of grant aid and a loan from Community Finance (Ireland) they expect to complete the project, by June 2017.  Tourmakeady GAA are hosting the national finals of Cόmortas Peile na Gaeltachta

"We could not have taken on this project without the backing of Community Finance (Ireland).  They guided us through the process, bore with us as we sorted out some unresolved legacy issuses, and most of all they placed trust in us. We recommend them highly to any other sports club or voluntary organisation embarking on a capital development project." (Mr Michael Lang, Secretary, Tourmakeady GAA Club.)

Illies Golden Gloves Boxing Club

Illies Golden Gloves is a community based boxing club, who is a non-profit group providing a service to the local community and catchment areas. Illies Golden Gloves foster a culture and an enivornment that encourages participation, identifies talent and support all within the boxing family to reach their full potential.

A loan from Community Finance (Ireland) has enabled them carry out works to make the permises fit for purpose as an amateur boxing club.

The club is open 5 days a week and on alternative Sundays, host squad training for teams preparing for competitions.

Since it was formed in 1998 the club has had major success and the commitee are committed to the continued development of the club.  To date the achievements are: 152 County titles, 67 Ulster titles, 39 National titles, 2 European Elite Bronze, 1 World Youth Bronze.

"On behalf of the club, I sincerely wish to thank Community Finance (Ireland) for all their assistance in getting us where we are today. Thank you." (Sadie Duffy, Secretary, Illies Golden Gloves Boxing Club.)

Philipstown Centre CLG

The St Kevin's Community Centre opened in late August 2014 with the aim of providing facilities to meet the social, recreational, educational, sport and leisure needs of the local community and wider mid Louth area. The centre provides the following facilities; a sports hall which has a large stage for performances, a large community/games room, a meeting room, two dressing rooms with showers and a kitchen.  

St. Kevins Community Centre in conjuction with Louth Meath Education Training Board (formerly VEC) provided classes in internet and email free of charge to participants. The Centre has also hosted some excellent social events which have been remarkably well received and supported by the entire community.

'We would strongly recommend Community Finance (Ireland) to any community or voluntary group that requires external financing.  The funding process is by necessity not a simple one, however it certainly is made as simple as possible by the Community Finance (Ireland) team who really understand the needs of such groups.  Community Finance (Ireland) provides an extremely valuable service, particularly when other avenues for groups such as ours to access finance are limited." (Michael Burke, Secretary, Philipstown Centre CLG).

Ballyhea GAA Club

Ballyhea GAA Club was founded in 1884, the same year as the GAA itself.  They serve the parish of Ballyhea in North Cork.  During its time the club has won County Finals in Senior, Intermediate and Junior and Juvenile levels. Ballyhea GAA encourage values of tolerance, self-discipline, team spirit and strength of characters that are practiced and promoted in their club. They offer a valuable service to their local community.

Emigration, the Great War, plus the Civil War had a major effect on the club.  From 1914 to 1926 there was no Ballyhea team competing.  In 1931 Ballyhea defeated Bandon to win the County Intermediate Title.

In 1958 Ballyhea  acquired its permanent home in Castleharrison.

In recent years a Camoige Club has been set up and won two County Titles.

A loan from Community Finance (Ireland) has helped towards the construction of a clubhouse, to include changing rooms and internal ball alleys.

Drogheda Town FC

Drogheda Town FC was founded in 1969 as Mosney Celtic with two founder members remaining as Honorary Presidents.  In 1984 the club moved to Marian Park and was renamed as Drogheda Celtic.  In 2001 the club was formed from the amalgamation of Drogheda Celtic and West End forming Drogheda Town FC.  

In 2006 a juvenile section was started and they now have 2 senior teams and 10 juvenile teams. Age groups 8 to 13 year olds play in the Drogheda and District League and 15 to 18 year olds play in the NDSL.

The clubhouse provides excellent facilites and social activities and is used by all local community groups. 

"Drogheda Town FC are appreciative of the loan that Community Finance (Ireland) funded which has enabled the Marian Park clubhouse to be built to a high energy efficient specfication.  We are proud to say that the clubhouse is for everyone and caters for kindergarden to senior players and has provided local employment. These excellent facilities are a help to the greater community at large." (Mick Toner, Chairman, Drogheda Town FC). 

Cavan County Enterprise Fund

Cavan County Enterprise Fund (CCEF) was established in 1988 with financial support from The International Fund for Ireland (IFI). They offer eligible enterprises, flexible loan finance to new and expanding small business, usually in the manufacturing, tradable services and tourism sectors. 

The objectives for which the company was formed include :

To give effect to or to further the aims and objectives of The International Fund for Ireland by creating a revolving business enterprise fund.  

To become involved in, assist, contribute towards or manage any small industry or community based economic project or any workspace project or any programme created or organised under the auspices of The International Fund for Ireland. 

A loan from Community Finance Ireland has enabled Cavan County Enterprise Fund to develop a high quality / high tech office space.

South East Food Trade Desk Cooperative Society Ltd t/a Irish Food Co-op

Community Finance (Ireland) provided South East Food Trade Desk Cooperative Society with a bridging loan so that they could restrospectively claim a grant from the Rural Development Programme.  The cooperative also availed of a short term working capital loan from Community Finance (Ireland) to assist in the early stages of business development.

Their products can be sourced from the following shops:

Swans on the Green, Treacys, Glasrai & Goodies, Delgany Store, Get Fresh and Fresh Ave, Bread & Butter, Glendalough, Lynams, Mr Green Foods, Thymeout, Keelings, Malones Fruit Farm Shop, Eurospar Kilkenny, Olivers Deli, Brooklodge, Hugh Boggans Wexford, McLeans Foodstore Tyrone, Kierans Deli Drogheda, Cullentra Farm Shop, Urban Coop Limerick, Nude Food Dungarvan, Mount Juliet Hotel, Miller & Cook, The Little Cheese Shop Dingle, Wilde & Green, Moores Butchers Rathdrum, Field & Vine, Kates Kitchen Sligo, Roy Foxes Deli Donnybrook and J.J. O'Driscoll Superstore Cork.

€3 million
Invested in Social Housing projects

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John F. Kennedy Trust Ltd, South Quay, New Ross, Co. Wexford



Our Great Interest Rate 'Secret'

Read about how Community Finance (Ireland) has established within its product range an interest rate that helps protect its borrowers against interest rate fluctuations.

Charity Investor Highlights Risks to Clubs of Bridging Community Grants

For further information on Charity Investor Highlights Risks to Clubs of Bridging Community Grants  CLICK ON LINK :

For further information on Charity Investor Highlights Risks to Clubs of Bridging Community Grants  CLICK ON LINK :

South & Mid Leinster get designated Executive for a €100 million fund for Community Organisations

Barry Symes has taken up an Executive role with Community Finance (Ireland). 

Barry Symes has taken up an Executive role with Community Finance (Ireland). 

Barry Symes

Barry Symes, who is Gorey based is a former senior Ulster Bank Official with over 15 years’ senior management experience in banking and finance. Barry is hugely immersed in community and voluntary activity and has been active in the Gorey area with groups such as the local Courtown Golf Club, Gorey Rugby Club, Gorey Hockey Club and Leskinfere Community to name a few.

According to Barry Symes, “Community Finance (Ireland) continues to grow in order to meet the needs of the thousands of community and voluntary groups throughout Ireland who are seeking to raise finance for their worthy projects. Community Finance (Ireland) recently approved a number of new investments in South Leinster, including New Ross Community Hospital, South East Mountain Rescue Association, JFK Trust and Kilkenny based, South East Food Trade Desk. We are keen to build on this work and many other investments in Leinster and elsewhere over the coming years.”

Donal Traynor, Associate Director of Community Finance (Ireland) said, “It’s wonderful to have an experienced professional such as Barry Symes join the Community Finance (Ireland) team, because in addition to his career in banking and finance, he has been heavily involved in member owned, community based entities for decades.”

Media Coverage

Northern Sound Radio Interview                                  CLICK ON LINK 


Northern Sound Radio Interview                                  CLICK ON LINK 


Highland Radio Interview                                             CLICK ON LINK 


Meath Accessible Transport (Flexibus) Interview          CLICK ON LINK 


South East Radio Interview                                           CLICK TO LISTEN       

(S.E. Business Matters Saturday 11.3.17)


€5 million
Invested in Sports Clubs

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Dónal Traynor

Associate Director
Impact Investing in Connacht, the Midland, and the Border Region

Dónal joined the UCIT Group in 2004 to develop and manage the Island’s first ever cross border Business Support programme for Community Enterprise. In 2008 he was responsible for delivering the Island’s premier Trade Show devoted exclusively to Social Enterprise (NetWORKS 2008). As Associate Director, Dónal is also a member of the UCIT Group Senior Management Team.

Since 2008, Donal has been responsible for developing Community Finance (Ireland) from a zero base, into one of the country’s leading Impact Investors, accessing a €100m credit line from the Social Finance Foundation, equipping the company with a highly skilled team, leading the way in terms of nimble investment decisions, being accepted as the first Irish member of FEBEA (the European Federation of Ethical Banks and Alternative Investors) and representing the group on various committees with a national remit, as well as facilitating the delivery of Ireland’s first Social Enterprise Toolkit.

Dónal holds Degree in Economics & Geography from UCD, a Graduate Diploma in Tourism and Business Studies from UL, an MBS in Co-operatives and Social Enterprise from UCC, together with a Professional Diploma in Financial Advice from the Institute of Bankers (QFA).

Marie Carpenter

Office Administrator

Marie Carpenter joined the Community Finance (Ireland) team in September 2014. Having come from a professional background which included over 15 years of administrative experience, much of which was within the banking sector, Marie has since obtained a Certificate in SME Marketing and Sales Management from Griffith College. Marie is a friendly, detail-orientated professional and brings many years of experience in various aspects of office administration associated with staff support and customer service. She is highly efficient in performing duties, including quickly identifying the requirements for completing the task and solving any problems that may occur. 

Rose Hally

Client Relationship Executive
Impact Investing in Munster

Rose brings to Community Finance (Ireland) some 20yrs+ experience in a senior management role within the financial sector. She has established an accomplished track record in leading teams to deliver & exceed business expectations by fostering engagement, develop potential, deliver profitability and support growth.

Rose has also given many years’ involvement in various not for profit organisations, where she has held senior roles, contributing effectively to the aims of each group, gaining a significant understanding of the Community & Voluntary sector during this time.

Specifically, Rose has garnered a detailed understanding of people and business dynamics through her many years’ experience of supporting SME's during various stages of business growth.

As well as having been heavily involved in numerous public and voluntary bodies, Rose is also a Member of the Institute of Bankers and a Qualified Financial Advisor.

Barry Symes

Client Relationship Executive
Impact Investing in South Leinster

Barry Symes joined Community Finance (Ireland) in January 2017 having spent most of his career with the Ulster Bank Group. For most of his 17 years with that Group, Barry was involved in relationship management in the business & commercial division of the Bank taking up his first management position back in 1999. He has worked in the Midlands, Dublin and South East and has vast experience in all sectors. He also lead a problem-debt management team and this all round experience gives Barry a unique insight as to how a financial model should be built around an organisation’s individual income.

In addition to his professional experience, Barry holds a Diploma in Financial Services and a Certificate in Agriculture.

Barry’s experience will add-value to any organisation’s project or financial need.

Terri Martin

Office Administrator

Terri has worked in the banking and financial services industry for over 10 years.  Her experience crosses over customer service, administration, account management and reconciliations. 

She brings that experience to Community Finance Ireland where she works with the team to oversee the day to day office administration.

She has a keen interest in sport, particularly GAA.  She manages a local GAA girls football team and is an avid supporter of her home club team and county.

Fiona Hughes

Client Relationship Executive
Impact Investing in Dublin

Fiona joins the CFI team having spent some 27 years with Bank of Ireland, much of this as a Branch Manager in various Dublin locations. Having progressed to Business Banking, Fiona was also promoted to the position of Head of Complaints Retail Ireland. As with all CFI Relationship Executives, Fiona is a Qualified Financial Advisor.

Community Finance (Ireland) Directors

Alan Moneypenny Chair
Former Vice-Chair of Sport NI
Damian McAteer Vice-Chair
Director of Waterside Development Trust
Dermot McGale
Retired Regional Director of First Trust Bank
Henry Brennan
Business Consultant and Certified Accountant
Paddy Harte
Lecturing and Economic and Social Development Advisor
Kevin Helferty
Director of Buncrana Credit Union Ltd
Jim Malone
Director/Founder Member of Ardee Community Development Company
Dr Arthur Mitchell MBE
Founder Trustee/ Director of Mourne Heritage Trust
Michael McGarrigle
Secretary of Council for the West
Seamus O’Prey
Chief Executive of ORTUS Group
Andrew Ward
Joint CEO Inishowen Development Partnership

UCIT Directors

Alan Moneypenny Chair
Chair of Finance and Audit committee, Riverside Theatre
Damian McAteer Vice-Chair
Director of Waterside Development Trust
Dr Arthur Mitchell MBE
Company Secretary Founder Trustee / Director of Mourne Heritage Trust
Thelma Armstrong MBE
Sub Board member of Choice Housing Association
Erskine Holmes OBE
Elected member of NI Council Co-operative Group
Jim Malone
Director/Founder Member of Ardee Community Development Company
Dermot McGale
Retired Regional Director of First Trust Bank
Seamus McAleavey
Chief Executive of NICVA
Michael McGarrigle
Secretary of Council for the West
Douglas McIldoon
Secretary of NI Co-operative Forum
Seamus O’Prey
Chief Executive of ORTUS Group
Jude Copeland
Solicitor, Herbert Smith Freehills
Ian McAvoy
Chair, Playboard
Martin Stroud
Board Member of Ulster Waterways
Anthony Barbour
Board Member, NI Co-operative Forum

Membership of Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT) offers you the opportunity to be part of an exciting and progressive financial institution that is committed to breaking new ground in developing financial solutions for the social economy sector.

As an Industrial and Provident Society, UCIT offers membership by way of share acquisition with a minimum subscription of £250 Sterling (or the Euro equivalent).

A copy of our membership form can be found by clicking below

Membership Form