Bank closures ‘stripping away the rural fabric of Tipperary’

Public representatives have been called on to fight to re-open a rural South Tipperary bank closed as part of AIB’s drastic rationalisation of its network of branches.

Public representatives have been called on to fight to re-open a rural South Tipperary bank closed as part of AIB’s drastic rationalisation of its network of branches.

Gerry Duffy from Cahir, who was involved with Cahir Development Association for many years and ran as an independent candidate in the Cahir Electoral Area in the 2004 local council elections, has written a letter to AIB’s head office in Dublin appealing to the bank to reconsider its decision to close its Clogheen branch.

And he urged local elected representatives to lobby at the highest level for Clogheen’s AIB branch to be re-opened.

Mr Duffy issued the call following the closure of the Clogheen bank about two weeks ago.

Killenaule has also lost its AIB branch in the troubled bank’s rationalisation scheme involving the closure of 67 or a quarter of its smaller branches around the country. Its services have transferred to the Fethard AIB branch while Clogheen’s have transferred to the Cahir AIB branch.

Mr Duffy said the closure of the AIB Bank branch in Clogheen was yet another example of the rural fabric and business life of Tipperary’s towns being stripped away.

“This branch had been in Clogheen for many years and was open on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays of each week. It allowed customers of AIB to meet bank officials face to face in their town and allowed business people in Clogheen to make vital cash lodgements on these days. The security aspect of these lodgements, in particular, could not be overstated,” he pointed out.

He acknowledged that some limited banking can be done in the local post office but argued that this could not replace the customer service of the now closed AIB Bank.

Mr Duffy pointed out that Clogheen’s AIB branch served a wide hinterland around the village including Ballyporeen, Ardfinnan, Ballylooby, Goatenbridge, Tubrid and Shanbally.

He also pointed out that the bank brought business to Clogheen, which has suffered other closures such as its co-op in recent times. Meanwhile, the cost of security on the closed building and the deflated property marke should be factored in to the proposed savings in closing this vital business hub in Clogheen, Mr Duffy added in his letter.