Campaigners say rural Ireland need to be looked on for housing crisis solutions

Campaigners against the closure of local services say rural Ireland needs to be looked on as a solution to the current housing crisis in the capital.

Vincent Roddy, of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association and a farmer in south Sligo says the closure of the Ulster Bank branches in Ballymote and Ardara today is regrettable.

Today the two branches are being closed for good by the bank.

The Ulster bank branch in Manorhamilton in county Leitrim closed at the beginning of 2015.

In June their branch in Raphoe closed its doors and today sees the closure of Ballymote in south Sligo and Ardara in west Donegal.

Just last month the community in Sligo held a protest outside the Ballymote branch in protest at the decision.

The bank is often the one of choice for farmers and Vincent Roddy of the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association was one of those who spoke at last month’s protest.

Speaking to Ocean FM News today, he says it’s a sad day.

He says it’s time the government and companies started to look at rural areas as a solution to the present housing crisis in Dublin instead of closing services down:

In Ardara, Damien Diver, of the local Centra shop, was another who campaigned to keep the branch there open.

He says it’s older people mainly who will suffer.

And while other services in the area including the new Ulster bank mobile service are welcome it’s still a huge void for the local community.

Meanwhile in Sligo town, there are calls for a new ATM service on Castle Street.

Fine Gael’s community activist in Sligo, Blaine Gaffney made the calls a few weeks ago and has since carried out a petition.

Today he confirmed that 500 people have signed the petition calling for such a machine to be put in place on that side of the town.