Tuesday, April 16, 2024

‘A slap in the face for rural Ireland’ – Call for community banking as BoI branches close

“Another slap in the face for rural Ireland” is how the closures last Friday by Bank of Ireland of 88 rural branches, including four in Westmeath –  in  Kinnegad, Moate, Castlepollard and Athlone (AIT) –  have been described this week by Labour’s Cllr. Denis Leonard. He has also called for  the community banking model to be seriously considered.

“This means that Westmeath, with 90,000 people, will only have two  bank of Ireland branches, in Mullingar and Athlone,” he said, with the Midlands region devastated, by 11  Bank of Ireland closures, three each in both Offaly and Laois and one in Longford, in Granard. He pointed out also that the withdrawal of ATMs meant that many people in rural communities  no longer had 24/7 access to cash.

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