Political, business and community leaders throughout the north west are today describing an announcement by Bank of Ireland that it’s to close nine branches in the north west as ‘a devastating blow.’
The branches to be shut include Ballymote and Tubbercurry in County Sligo, Drumshanbo and Manorhamilton in Leitrim and Bundoran in Donegal.
Bunbeg, Dungloe, Glenties and Moville will also close in Donegal.
Bank of Ireland says the branches will close from the end of September.
The bank says it has agreed a new partnership with An Post, which will offer Bank of Ireland customers banking services.
It adds that the bank branches that are to close all have a post office within, on average, less than 500 metres.
However, the closures mean that there are now large rural areas without a Bank of Ireland branch.
Tubbercurry Chamber of Commerce President Roger McCarrick says that for people in the south Sligo and adjoining Mayo area. the nearest Bank of Ireland branches will be in Sligo town or Ballina.
Sligo/Leitrim TD Martin Kenny described the closures as ‘devastating’ for the towns and areas concerned.
And he says more clarity is needed on how the bank’s partnership with An Post is going to work.
Bundoran-based Councillor Michael McMahon says the closures mean there will now be no bank branch in the south Donegal town.
Cormac Meehan, who operates travel agency and auctioneering businesses in Bundoran, says he is astounded that Bank of Ireland is to close its branch in Bundoran, one of the north west’s top tourist resorts.