Meath Chamber Press release 01.02.21
Local businesses shocked at Bank of Ireland closures in County Meath
The 1st of March, the beginning of Spring and a time of year associated with new beginnings, birth, and fresh starts brought the devastating news that 103 branches of Bank of Ireland are to close in Ireland. 3 of those branches are in County Meath. Bank of Ireland Athboy, Enfield and Ratoath. The Kingscourt branch in County Cavan is also set to close, a branch that would be used by many businesses in North Meath.
The branches are due to close from the end of September. Bank of Ireland have said that the acceleration in digital banking is the reason behind the closures. Pat Clerkin, former manager of Bank of Ireland in Athboy appeared on RTE news on Monday night stating “It's a very sad day particularly for the customers and the staff. It now means there’s no bank between Kells and Mullingar. I’m really upset that it’s come to this."
Meath County Chamber promote County Meath as a place to “live, work and grow” so this news has been particularly devastating. John V Farrelly, President of County Meath Chamber, said today that he is shocked and saddened by this announcement. “The alarming reality is that these towns are now left with no bank. I appreciate that people have engaged with online banking facilities but the reality is that the local branch was a place where people felt their business and personal finances were valued and secured. The knock on blow for the local town cannot be undervalued either. The physical branch provide a local connection to a national institution which is partly owned by the state. It is a very poor reflection on the banks sense of community”
Local businesses in Athboy, Enfield and Ratoath are now worried that people will bypass their businesses for bigger towns that do have walk-in banking facilities. A lot of businesses will have been struggling during the Covid 19 pandemic and this news will do nothing for the confidence of the community at large. Up to 1450 jobs in Bank of Ireland will be cut by the end of 2021.
The bank has said it had agreed a new partnership with An Post, which will offer Bank of Ireland customers banking services at more than 900 locations across Ireland