Kerry's Colm Cooper helps Tullamore school launch the 'Faithful Bank'

This year, for the first time ever, Coláiste Choilm in Tullamore are competing in the AIB Build a Bank challenge which involves the establishing and running of a school bank.

The bank team at Coláiste Choilm consisted of six members: Sean Gannon, The Bank Manager, Aivan Jose, The Chief Operating Officer, Adam Dolan, The Marketing Manager, Eanna Murray, The Financial Controller, Cian Cronly, The Innovations Executive and Wayne Keating, The Digital Officer.

The team was selected through an application and interview process which was conducted by the AIB Tullamore bank manager Kevin Kelly, his colleague and teacher Ms. Aine Stones.

Known as the Faithful Bank, its theme incorporates all things Offaly but with a particular focus on Offaly GAA. It was therefore only fitting that's for the official bank launch special guests included GAA legends Colm Cooper, Michael Duignan, Pádraig Horan and Willie Bryan.

Each of the legends spoke on the day of the importance of saving and preparing for a rainy day. They also encouraged students to work hard and have a never give up attitude which they believed enabled them to achieve in their respective walks of life.

As part of the launch ceremony student account holders gathered in the school gym and were provided with refreshments and goodie bags while they waited for the GAA legends to arrive. Music was performed by the Colaiste Choilm Trad Group and after an address by Cooper students went out to the playing field for a training session with the 'Gooch'. Colm was very giving with his time as he took pictures, signed jerseys and spoke to each individual pupil. He also offered the bank team advice for their upcoming Build a Bank regional final in March.

Since the launch the team are working towards improving banking activities in the school by encouraging weekly saving, building a larger client base, increasing current accounts holders activity and enhancing our customer services through the use of IT.

The team in Colaiste Choilm believe that so far the competition has been very beneficial for the whole bank team as it is an incredible opportunity to be able to run a bank as teenagers and to able to educate fellow second level students about the importance of banking, a skill that will be needed for life.

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