DESPITE protest meetings, massive petitions and a picket outside Dail Eireann the AIB branches in Dromcollogher and Doon will close their doors for the final time this afternoon.
Despite assurances from the bank that the effect of the closure of the Dromcollogher branch will be eased by services offered at the local post office, AIB’s steadfast refusal to reconsider its decision to shut the West Limerick town’s branch has left a bitter taste.
Noel Morrissey, a local publican and member of the committee which mounted protests outside AIB headquarters and Dail Eireann last week, said that Dromcollogher has been “screwed” by the bank’s decision.
He rebuked claims by the bank that customers have been informed about alternative services, saying that he has received “absolutely nothing” from AIB.
He also criticised the part played by local TDs. “Nobody’s doing anything. If it was election time, they’d be doing something”.
Mr Morrissey said that cash businesses like his may now have to travel all the way to Newcastle West to make deposits, which could create a security risk if they cannot afford cash-in-transit services.
Meanwhile, in Doon The Limerick Leader has learned that Tipperary Credit Union are interested in purchasing the building which is being vacated by AIB.
For 92 years it has been home to banking in Doon - first with the Munster & Leinster Bank and then AIB over the door.
Currently the Doon branch of Tipperary Credit Union offers a three day service.
The spokesperson says this will be extended if they buy the AIB building. “The Doon Credit Union already offers the same banking services as a bank. The spokesperson says this will be extended if they buy the AIB building.It would mean more space and people not having to go to Tipperary Town. This would include putting in an ATM machine in Doon. It will provide more employment - we currently have two staff employed part-time.”
Before the Munster & Leinster bank was opened in 1920 a bank in Tipperary Town rented rooms to cater for the villages’s banking needs every Wednesday.
Now a mobile AIB community bank will visit Doon on Thursdays from 11.45am to 12.45pm.
AIB say they have put in place a number of alternative banking services for customers at designated Post Offices as well.
Current Doon AIB customers’ new branch is in Tipperary Town. The four staff from Doon will also be crossing the Limerick/Tipperary border to work in the branch.