A survey by the Central Bank has uncovered that staff members and director have benefited in almost one third of Irish Credit Union prize draws.

The Central Bank investigated prize draws at 128 branches of credit unions.

Suspicions were raised after people alleged that there were no publicized winners of 15 previous car draws at the now-defunct Rush Credit Union in north Dublin.

Entry for competitions, like car draws, are a staple part of at least half of the credit unions around the country. Entry into the draw is usually €100. 

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In studying the credit unions that do offer prize draws to members, the Central Bank found that the draws were often performed by staff, who were eligible to enter, without independent supervision.

In some 30% of draws at these branches from October 2014 and March 2017, a staff member or a director won a prize.

The survey also found that many credit unions kept "no records" or "poor documentation" of winners.

"It does resemble an episode from Fr Ted where he ran a car raffle and he manipulated it so that he won the car," Irish Independent Personal Finance Editor Charlie Weston said.