WATERFORD councillors have called for Bank of Ireland to consider reversing the decision to close the branch in Kilmacthomas.
Waterford is to lose three Bank of Ireland branches – in Ardkeen, Kilmacthomas and Lismore, which Comeragh councillors have described as “a shock” and “anti progressive”.
At a recent Comeragh Council meeting on March 18, Fine Gael Cllr Liam Brazil brought forward a motion for Waterford City and County Council to write to Bank of Ireland and its relevant committees to request the reversal of the decision to close the BOI branch in Kilmacthomas.
“The branch’s closure will be a big loss to residents of the Comeragh District in County Waterford. I think this is a shame of Bank of Ireland to close its service there,” he said.
The Kilmacthomas Bank of Ireland branch is currently the only bank service between Dungarvan and Waterford City, following the closure of AIB several years ago.
Cllr Brazil said it was “wrong” for Bank of Ireland to make the decision to close the branch and said it will be “very tough on the people” of the district.
“I’d ask the council to do all in their remit to talk to Bank of Ireland to try to reverse the decision,” he said.
Labour Party Cllr Ger Barron seconded the motion and said the announcement was a “shock”.
Cllr Barron said that when AIB closed, he thought, “at least we have one bank.” “But now we will have no bank if this goes through. I support the cause to reverse this decision,” he added.
He described BOI’s decision as “short term thinking” and said they did not take into account “the loss of status in a progressive town like Kilmacthomas.”
“It will inconvenience a lot of people who want to do their business in the local village and local bank. It’s clear these decisions are made far away and this is a big blow,” he told the council, adding that at the “very least” there should be an ATM maintained in the village.
“I don’t think it’s beyond the means of a major company like BOI to service this ATM, but I would prefer if they reversed the decision. As a council we need to mark this down as being anti progressive,” Cllr Barron said.
Fianna Fáil Cllr John O’Leary also supported the motion and said the closure would have a “very negative impact” and that it was “hard to believe”, though he said it was “typical of what’s happening in parts of rural Waterford”.