DOON has become the latest village in County Limerick to organise a meeting over their AIB branch closure.
It is to be held on Wednesday, August 29 at 8pm in Doon community hall.
Meetings have already taken place in Foynes, Dromcollogher, while concerned locals in Glin voiced their opposition with a protest gathering outside the village’s AIB branch.
Hospital are to hold a meeting in September. AIB representatives were in Foynes last Thursday to discuss the closure of the town’s branch.
Now Cappamore Development Association and Doon Community Council joined together to organise the meeting.
Cllr Noel Gleeson says they estimate that over 40,000 have been disenfranchised from the closure of Doon and Newport’s AIB branches.
“Take all the catchment area of North East Limerick that went to Doon. Murroe was serviced by Newport. Take Pallasgreen and Oola, many of them would have come to Doon. All of Cappawhite, Kilcommon, Hollyford, Rearcross a lot of them go to Doon to do their banking,” said Cllr Gleeson.
“It is a vital service for the people in the locality. AIB are trying to spare costs but the people who use the bank - they are going to have to go to the nearest bank in Limerick or Tipperary,” he added.
Ironically, Doon’s banking services are being transferred to Tipperary, while Newport will now be served by the branch at 106 O’Connell Street.
“The ordinary elderly person who has transport might not like going in to Limerick city or into a big town like Tipperary. They would rather stay local. And what about the people with no transport?” asked Cllr Gleeson, who added that facilities being transferred is not satisfactory.
Cllr Gleeson said Cappamore Development Association and Doon Community came together to plan their response.
“The community council of any parish represents the people. We met to see where we would go. The consensus was that we should hold a meeting to get the views of the people.
“We are asking all the people in the catchment area to support the meeting and see where we take it from there. It is on in Doon community hall at 8pm on Wednesday, August 29,” said Cllr Gleeson.
When the branch closure in Doon was announced, Arthur Pierse, owner of Mace in Doon, said it was the only topic of conversation in his shop: “They are very disturbed by the news. One woman said to me, ‘It means an awful lot for a local area to have the security of a bank’.
“They keep taking the facilities out of a small village - we have no garda station, we will have no bank.
“Once you start discommoding a small community of facilities it does become a far less attractive place for people to live in. It means a downgrading of the community,” said Mr Pierse.