PROTESTS have taken place in Dromcollogher and Glin following AIB’s decision to close eight of its branches in Limerick.
The decision to close branches in Hospital, Doon, Croom, Glin, Foynes, Dromcollogher, Corbally and William Street has angered customers of the bank.
Limerick customers will also be affected by the closure of branches in Newport, Tarbert and Kilkee.
Businesses in the affected towns and villages say the closure of the branches will be a huge blow.
Hundreds of people attended a protest meeting in Dromcollogher last night and a large crowd gathered in Glin this afternoon. Further protests are expected over the coming weeks.
A number of politicians have also written to David Duffy, CEO of AIB, urging him to reverse the decisions saying Limerick will be disproportionately affected.
Auctioneer, Gerald Mitchell from Hospital said the local business community will fight “tooth and nail” to retain the local branch of AIB.
“We are in business over 100 years and we have been dealing with this bank over 100 years. There are established businesses everywhere here - solicitors, auctioneers, hardware shops. It is the only bank we’ve got. The closure would be the death knell of Hospital as far as we are concerned.”
Murroe county councillor, John Egan, says many people from the village and its surrounds travel to near bye Newport to do their banking. However, under the plans, banking at Newport is to be transferred to O’Connell Street in Limerick city.
“People will have to travel in the city now instead of going over the road to Newport. Doon is a big loss to people in Cappamore as well as locals,” he said.
The impending closure of the AIB bank in Croom will bring an end to a tradition of banking in the village that dates back almost a century.
Banking services have been provided from the building at High Street for almost one hundred years as it had previously housed the Munster and Leinster bank.
Ironically works to give the current bank branch a major facelift started last week prior to the announcement that the premises is to close by the end of next year.
“It was part and parcel of the commercial life of the town and the district. It has a wide catchment area and it was a hugely important part of the commercial life of the town and its closure is a serious disappointment,” said Cllr Patrick C Fitzgerald.
The closure of the Foynes and Glin branches, coupled with the loss of the branch in Tarbert, means that there will be no AIB bank between Listowel and Limerick city on the N69. Margaret O’Shaughnessy, director of the Foynes Flying Boat Museum, said she fears the decision of AIB to close its local branch will undermine plans to invest in the village, which already has a strong commercial presence.
For detailed coverage, see this weekend’s Limerick Leader, print edition