DUBLIN, Ireland (8/5/11)--Irish credit unions are using the courts more frequently in pursuing delinquent loans. There were 89 judgments registered by credit unions in July compared with 43 during the same month last year (Irish Examiner Aug. 4). The total amount of the judgments jumped to $1,659,214 last month from 768,673 in July 2010. Irish credit unions will typically use legal proceedings only as a last resort, according to a spokesperson for the Irish League of Credit Unions. Recently, the Central Bank of Ireland imposed lending sanctions on some credit unions due to concerns over rising delinquencies. In June, Ireland’s credit union regulator, Registrar James O'Brien, indicated his agency would lead a wave of mergers across the sector in a move that could reduce the country's more than 400 credit unions to roughly half (News Now June 16). At the time, Paul Walsh, chief executive of the insurer, CUNA Mutual Europe, said credit unions will have a bright future only if they change their current practices and collaborate on cost cutting and improving efficiencies.