A SERIOUS incident at the country's largest credit union was narrowly averted after a wall in its offices collapsed.

The Garda Credit Union was forced to move to alternative accommodation after part of the building toppled to the ground two weeks ago.

Oliver Harrington, the general manager of the Credit Union, which is located on the Naas Road in Dublin, said no one had been injured and no damage occurred to vehicles nearby.

Harrington said: "There was structural damage and a decision was made that we could not allow members of the public into the building.

"The Health and Safety Authority are having a look at it and they will carry out an investigation."

Harrington said the incident took place just at the close of business on Wednesday 30 December and alternative premises had been found for the "foreseeable future". The offices of the Credit Union, which has over 31,000 members, were closed for a number of days while the changeover took place.

New premises at nearby Willow Road were opened on Thursday and service was available to all members by phone throughout the new-year period.

A statement on the credit union's website said the old offices had been shut due to "unforeseen circumstances".

It said: "We thank you most sincerely for your patience, while preparing and transferring to these alternative premises.

"This will serve as our main office for the immediate future. We look forward to offering our full range of services to you at the earliest date."

A spokesman for the HSA said: "Fortunately, no member of staff or the public were injured and it is obviously an early point of the inquiry, so we cannot say much more than that."