Olive McCarthy

Olive McCarthy
University College Cork | UCC · Department of Food Business and Development and Centre for Co-operative Studies

B.Comm, MSc, PhD PG Dip Learning & Teaching

About

52
Publications
14,560
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
247
Citations
Citations since 2016
31 Research Items
183 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
2016201720182019202020212022010203040
Introduction
Current work includes: a. a commissioned study on financial exclusion of social housing tenants b. barriers to social impact measurement in Irish credit unions

Publications

Publications (52)
Article
This article focuses on money-lending and financial exclusion in Ireland. Borrowing from money-lenders is seen in the academic literature as an indicator of exclusion from more affordable sources of credit. However, Ireland has a widespread credit union movement which provides access to affordable credit. The authors investigated whether this has a...
Article
Full-text available
It is recognised in the marketing literature that services consist of core and relational dimensions, and in a long term customer relationship, the relational dimension can give competitive advantage to a business. One of the gaps in the credit union literature is a discussion on the impact of credit unions mergers on this key competitive advantage...
Article
Full-text available
In a context of almost no formalised or systematic social impact reporting by credit unions in Ireland, the aim of this paper is to explore how credit unions in Ireland conceptualise social impact, as manifested by the views of 23 credit union managers and 11 other key informants. The extent to which Irish credit unions currently report on social a...
Article
Full-text available
This case study focuses on policies, initiatives and practices of the credit union sector in Ireland during the Covid-19 pandemic. It will demonstrate how the strong local connectedness of credit unions as important social economy actors, aided by policy and regulatory flexibility, offered critical financial, personal and moral support to members a...
Conference Paper
The aim of this paper is to explore the issue of director remuneration in Irish credit unions.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research report examines access to and use of mainstream and alternative financial services by social housing residents in Ireland, with a focus on savings and credit. It examines dimensions of financial exclusion/inclusion, financial capability and the importance of social connections.
Conference Paper
The Irish credit union landscape has changed almost beyond recognition in the past 10 years. The onset of economic recession, followed by wide-ranging changes to credit union legislation and regulation, have resulted in considerable consolidation in the numbers of credit unions and greatly expanded obligations on credit unions to meet prudential re...
Article
Full-text available
In late 2018, a bill was passed to cap the rate of interest that can be charged by licensed moneylenders in Ireland at 36% APR. This came a mere two weeks after the launch of our report, funded by the Social Finance Foundation and the Central Bank of Ireland, into interest rate restrictions on high cost credit. What became known as the 'UCC Report'...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The focus of this paper is on establishing how social impact measurement and reporting is viewed by Irish credit unions, what the barriers to engagement are, and how credit unions feel they can be supported in getting started. It is an exploratory piece, opening up ideas and concepts and offering a starting point for further discussion and debate o...
Article
Full-text available
The Centre for Co-operative Studies is a university research centre at University College Cork (UCC), a constituent of the national university of Ireland (NUI), Ireland. Founded in 1981, it is the oldest research centre in the university, and is appropriately housed within the O’Rahilly Building, so named after Prof Alfred O’Rahilly, former preside...
Article
Full-text available
The cost of accessing small personal loans can be eye-wateringly high for those who need it most. Take the UK, where a £200 loan from Provident Personal Credit over 13 weeks costs £86 in interest. That’s an equivalent APR of a whopping 1,557.7%. These offers are available even after the caps on payday loans that the UK introduced five years ago. I...
Article
Full-text available
A WEEK AGO, the Central Bank unveiled tighter regulations aimed at protecting consumers who avail of high-interest loans from licensed moneylenders. Currently, moneylenders are permitted to charge up to 188% Annual Percentage Rate (APR), rising to 288% when permitted collection charges are included.
Article
Full-text available
Opinion: credit unions have put wide-ranging measures in place to support and protect their members
Presentation
While climate change and sustainability are the biggest issues facing the planet, is there in fact a ‘say-do’ gap between talk and action? On this episode of Insights, we look at the approach to sustainability in agriculture and food in Ireland asking how this vital industry needs to adapt and change in light of current issues and external pressur...
Book
Full-text available
This book uniquely captures the stories of those first volunteers, and those who have come after them, in their own words. It relates their experiences with an absorbing and compelling honesty, showing the struggle to get started, but the sense of achievement in getting off the ground and winning the trust of those around them. What emerges is an e...
Presentation
Why is it that some moneylenders in Ireland can charge interest rates of up to 287% and in most cases targeting those from lower socio-economic backgrounds? Dr Olive McCarthy and Dr. Noreen Byrne of CUBS released an influential report last November which looked into the need to introduce rate restrictions on high cost credit in Ireland and they jo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This project aims to raise awareness of the role of cooperatives in Ireland and the practicalities involved in their establishment. This is achieved by means of detailing five case studies of new/emerging cooperatives. The focus of the case studies is on the motivations and experiences of these new cooperatives including factors facilitating and/or...
Article
Full-text available
Irish beef farms have experienced poor viability longitudinally, with industry and policy actors citing 'crisis' levels in 2013. A crucial differentiator between the beef sector and the dairy sector, which has higher farm incomes, is well-developed infrastructure of farmer-owned dairy processing and marketing cooperatives. To address the lack of re...
Article
Full-text available
Family Farms and Co-ops Family farms are integral to the economic, social and cultural fabric of rural areas. In an increasingly industrialised agri-food sector, the economic viability of many family farms is threatened. This has implications for the sustainability of family farms and rural communities. Despite the challenges of viability, family...
Preprint
Full-text available
Irish beef farms have experienced poor viability longitudinally, with officially acknowledged ‘crisis’ levels in 2013. In response, beef Producer Organisation (PO) legislation was introduced. Through the lens of international evidence in the literature about how POs function, this paper presents an analysis of Irish stakeholders’ views in the conte...
Article
Keywords: Cooperative business Values-based supply chain Cooperative membership Beef producers A B S T R A C T The industrialisation of the agri-food sector has enabled power imbalances to emerge in the supply chain that tend to disfavour farmers. Exposure to price volatility, stemming from these power imbalances, is a key threat to family farm via...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a critical discussion of the concepts of farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience, which are typically discussed separately in the literature. While farm-level viability frequently focuses on measurable economic factors, sustain-ability is comparatively more elusive because of its added social, cultural and ecological...
Article
Full-text available
TRADITIONAL LOAN ASSESSMENT CARRIED OUT BY CREDIT UNIONS HAS BEEN CENTRED ON THE MEMBERS’ HISTORY OF SAVINGS AND LOAN REPAYMENT RECORD WITH THEIR CREDIT UNION. THIS HAS BEEN IN KEEPING WITH THE MEMBER-OWNED, VOLUNTARY, SELF-HELP CO-OPERATIVE PRINCIPLES OF CREDIT UNIONS IN PROVIDING FINANCIAL SERVICES TO THEIR MEMBERS. IN MORE RECENT TIMES, IRISH CR...
Research
Full-text available
The purpose of this report is to present the findings of a research study on the extent and variety of interest rate restrictions on high-cost consumer credit used to achieve the joint policy goals of financial inclusion and consumer protection. The research was funded by the Social Finance Foundation and the Central Bank , with the Centre for Co-o...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘Agriculture of the Middle’ (AotM) development paradigm emphasises that in order to survive, family farms must transition from a supply chain approach to a values-based supply chain (VBSC) approach, involving amendments to both product type and actor dynamics within the chain. This paper presents a qualitative case study of a beef co-operative...
Article
Full-text available
Family businesses, with no apparent heir, face the risk of discontinuity. While a number of family businesses rely heavily on non-family employees, the role of non-family employees in the continuity of family businesses is under-researched. The workers’ co-operative model offers one way to address this gap as it represents a model whereby non-famil...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of social enterprises (SEs) within criminal justice jurisdictions across Europe has increased significantly in recent years. Prison- and community-based income-generating businesses are providing employment for those who find it most difficult to secure jobs as a result of their previous criminal lifestyles. Combining a business model...
Chapter
The financial co-operative system in Ireland is comprised mainly of credit unions. The Irish credit union movement includes over 520 individual credit unions with a combined asset base of over 16 billion euros, total membership of over 3.6 million people, total savings of over 13 billion euros and total lending of over 4.5 billion euros. This chapt...
Article
Credit unions are key constituents of the financial services landscape in Ireland. Currently, the movement comprises mostly small-medium, local, autonomous credit unions. Restructuring is viewed as a means to ensuring viability and achieving economies of scale and scope. Debate has focused on the advantages of restructuring without due concern for...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the technical and relational value proposition preferences of credit union members and to examine the relationship between their preference and patronage activity. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 800 members of credit unions were surveyed. Exploratory factor analysis was used and four fact...
Article
Full-text available
While some aspects of what has broadly been called alternative agri-food networks (AAFNs) are relatively prominent in Ireland, including farmers' markets, garden plots (or allotments), and the GIY, or the Grow it Yourself home gardening phenomenon, community supported agriculture (CSA) initiatives are still rare in Ireland. One of the few, earliest...
Article
Full-text available
While some aspects of what has broadly been called alternative agri-food networks (AAFNs) are relatively prominent in Ireland, including farmers’ markets, garden plots (or allotments), and the GIY, or the Grow it Yourself home gardening phenomenon, community supported agriculture (CSA) initiatives are still rare in Ireland. One of the few,earliest,...
Chapter
Stiglitz (2010) argues that, in light of the monumental failure of financial institutions in recent years, we need to better understand the balance between private rewards and social returns. Co-operatives attempt to achieve this balance through open membership, democratic decision-making and equitable distribution of surpluses. Their dual nature a...
Article
Full-text available
In Ireland, credit unions appeal to a broad socio-economic spectrum and have become integrated into the mainstream financial services market. As many credit unions seek to provide services comparable to conventional banking institutions, they risk eroding their distinctive co-operative ethos. A key differentiating characteristic of credit unions is...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most important developments in small-scale agriculture and in local food retailing in the last decade has been the emergence of a new generation of farmers' markets in countries such as Ireland, the USA, the UK, New Zealand and Australia. Farmers' markets are now a significant alternative source of sales, distribution and marketing for m...
Article
Full-text available
The credit union supervisory committee, as a distinct model of organisational oversight, is very much invisible within corporate governance research. The focus is almost entirely on its corporate counterpart, the audit committee. This means that best practice is based almost entirely on audit committee experience, even though the audit committee mo...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this article is to examine the Irish and Lithuanian credit union movements in terms of risk management and risk performance, and to discuss credit union risk regulation. Risk management in credit unions often closely relates to credit union development stages so that as credit unions mature, higher standards of risk management should be...
Book
Full-text available
Although Ireland has a very well established credit union movement, moneylending continues to thrive. The purpose of this study is to estimate the extent of moneylending in a number of communities in Munster and to examine the extent to which credit unions contribute to financial inclusion. The study puts particular focus on comparing the servic...
Article
Full-text available
Credit unions play an important role in Irish community development by providing essential local financial services and by contributing resources to local development initiatives. General accounts of their development tend to focus on the longer established credit unions formed in the 1960s and 1970s. This paper tells the story of credit unions for...
Article
Credit unions are voluntary cooperative financial institutions. At present there are 621 credit unions in Ireland serving two million members. Credit unions espouse the principle of gender inclusiveness, which is viewed as a fundamental cooperative concept. Based on a survey of 500 Irish credit unions, this study explores the role of women in credi...
Book
Full-text available
This study focuses on the origins of the credit union movement in Ireland; the role of the Catholic Church in perpetuating the movement; the significance of moving from rented to purchased premises; the employment of full-time and part-time staff and the introduction of IT systems. It argues that the credit unions that innovated earliest attracted...
Article
Full-text available
It is important for all co-operatives, including credit unions to continue to energise and re-energise their core values, particularly in the context of a rapidly changing environment. This article firstly identifies briefly the values inherent in co-operatives such as credit unions and then explores how some of these operate in practice, drawing m...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction This paper begins by briefly examining the current role of women within the Irish credit union movement and by tracing the key role of women in the foundation of the movement. It focuses mainly on an examination of recent innovative job creation strategies adopted by a small number of Irish credit unions and traces the pioneering role...
Article
Full-text available
Education and training are essential elements of co-operative practice embodied within the co-operative principles. A problem common to many types of co-operative is that the level of commitment shown towards education and training can be weak at best, and often diminishes as they become more established and as the size of the membership and scale...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (6)
Project
This research aims to provide an evidence base to promote and enable greater energy efficiency in households with low disposable incomes, based on research with MABS’ clients. Improving the energy efficiency of low disposable income households can help to progress SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) while supporting cost savings for those experiencing money management problems and debt. I am working with the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) to explore the barriers and enablers to greater energy efficiency in the homes of MABS’ service users, identify potential supports needed by low disposable income households to improve their energy efficiency and provide a set of practical guidelines and case studies based on peer good practice to promote greater energy efficiency. This research is funded by the Irish Research Council, New Foundations scheme. The project website is hosted by UCC's ISS21: https://www.ucc.ie/en/iss21/researchprojects/researchprojects/energise/
Project
Reseaarch financed by Cluid Housing and the Housing Finance Agency to examine the issues faced by social housing tenants in gaining access to financial services.
Project
This research is examining the barriers faced by credit unions in engaging in social impact measurement and reporting and the supports they feel they need to engage. The final report is due out in mid November 2020. A free webinar will take place on 25th November 2020 to discuss the results of the research and to consider next steps. This is being hosted by the Centre for Community Finance Europe. The seminar will take place on Zoom and is open to all. Please register here: https://bit.ly/3ox7Y46 by 20th November if you’d like to attend and feel free to send the details to anyone you think might like to attend.