IRONICALLY, this week’s Tidy Towns report on Doon says, “AIB holds a prominent position in the town and is duly well presented”.
The branch is due to shut its doors by the of the year.
Many at a meeting on the closure in Doon vowed to leave the bank. Up to 100 attended the meeting in Doon Community Centre and another discussion on banking will take place at the same location this Friday.
In the parish newsletter it was announced that, “given the imminent changes to the banking services available in Doon, staff of Bank of Ireland, Tipperary will be available at the hall on Friday, September 14 from 10am to noon to answer any questions on the services provide by Bank of Ireland to both business and personal customers”.
Services from Doon’s branch are to be transferred to Tipperary Town. The meeting to discuss the end of banking in Doon was organised by Doon Community Council and Cappamore Development Association.
Cllr Noel Gleeson says if Doon, Newport and Hospital branches close around 40,000 people will be affected.
“It is a huge geographical area. Take all of Doon, Cappamore, Murroe, Oola, Pallasgreen back to Hospital and over the border in to Tipperary. It is massive,” said Cllr Gleeson, who said the overriding view in the room was disappointment.
One man said that “the taxpayers bailed out the bank and now they can’t give a service which has been in Doon since practically the foundation of the state”.
Another said that is was a “bad omen” for the future as Doon has four schools and a pre-school, a planned 900 pupil secondary school, many businesses and organisations had no bank or garda station.
“A bank encourages young people to save and a garda keeps them on the straight and narrow,” they said.
Attendees were urged to express their views and it was proposed that a deputation would meet the AIB area manager and Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan to propose opening the bank on Mondays and Fridays.
“People understand there has to be cuts but this would still allow people, particularly the elderly, to do their banking where they have always done it. The ordinary elderly person who has transport might not like going in to Limerick city or into a big town,” said Cllr Gleeson.
Doon parish priest, Fr Tony Ryan, said the bank staying open two days a week would be a big boost.
“It is such a huge area, people come in to the bank from so many different parishes because it is so central. People have appreciated and valued the service given, particularly for the elderly people,” said Fr Ryan, who added that the permanent closure of the bank would be a further blow to the village.
“We are so disappointed, we have lost the garda station, we’ve lost the library and now the bank. We hope it will continue two days a week,” said the parish priest.