THERE are now no AIB bank branches located anywhere along the N69 between Limerick and Listowel following the closure of the Foynes branch of AIB last Friday evening.
The branch was the last to close in County Limerick following the announcement of AIB’s closure programme last December.
Branches at Dromcollogher, Doon, Glin, William Street, Corbally, Hospital and most recently Croom have all closed in recent months..
Customers of the Foynes branch have had their accounts moved to the Newcastle West Branch while the five staff who were based there have been redeployed in Newcastle West, Rathkeale and Limerick.
A spokesperson for the Foynes community council said it was a “sad day” as the village has had banking services for more than 70 years.
“People are disappointed and upset that they went ahead and closed it down just like the others,” he said.
Within hours of the bank closing for the last time, the “AIB” signage was removed from the premises.
“It’s now just another vacant building on the street,” said one local person this week.
Cllr John Sheahan says the closure is another blow for the local community.,
“For AIB customers, we either have to go to Listowel, Newcastle West or Abbeyfeale for branch business and even to try and contact those local branches at the moment you’re forced into a central call centre and you can’t speak with the person that you want to speak to so it is a total new regime for AIB and especially for elderly people,” he said.
The closure of the Foynes branch means there are now just two ATM’s in the village in addition to the AIB’s mobile banking service, which is available two days a week.
However, Cllr Sheahan is not impressed with the mobile-banking service.
“It’s only there for a short period and the officials are very strict on time and I’ve been told the people who have used the service elsewhere were virtually turned away when the time is up so the mobile banking system is a farce in my book,” he said,
While a number of other former AIB branches in County Limerick have been sold, it’s not known what plans there are, if any, for the former branch in Foynes.