By Sarah Bradley
Locals in Ratoath, Athboy and Enfield have been informed that another Bank of Ireland branch will be shutting their doors. This is part of the bank’s plans to limit its branch network in Ireland by one third and by more than half in Northern Ireland. It will have a huge effect on local people from these areas. A student from Athboy explained what the bank closure means to them, explaining the extremely difficult as they will now have to commute to Dublin which is now their closest branch. Residents in Ratoath, and they disclosed that they will also have to commute just to take money out of their personal bank account. The closure of this bank branch will cause tremendous inconvenience among locals.
RTE have reported recently that Bank of Ireland has now agreed a new partnership with An Post, this will be a huge help to locals as there is an An Post office in every town. Bank of Ireland stated that there is an An Post less than 500 metres away, on average, from each bank of Ireland branch.
Local Senator Shane Cassells described the closures as ‘crippling’ to each area. Slamming the decision to close 88 branches he said that rural areas such as Athboy and Enfield were attacked by this decision and that the implications were broader than just the closure of a physical building. “The cloak of Covid has been used to cynically implement a plan that has been on the boil for quite some time,” Shane Cassells says.
Bank of Ireland stated they suffered losses of €374 million for 2020, such large losses were due to the covid financial crisis loans. Bank of Ireland said there will be no compulsory redundancies as a result of this decision to close branches nationwide.