Wicklow Sinn Féin TD has called on Bank of Ireland to reopen the 3 branches in Wicklow that closed in March at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic. As the economy starts to reopen and business resume the branches in Rathdrum, Tinahely and Carnew remain closed.
Deputy Brady said “In March Bank of Ireland made an announcement that 101 branches across the State were to temporarily close during the coronavirus pandemic. These included 3 branches in County Wicklow, Rathdrum, Tinahely and Carnew. Another 148 branches have remained open throughout the lockdown.”
“As restrictions are eased and the economy starts to reopen these branches must now reopen. The continued closure is starting to impact negatively on businesses that have reopened, they can’t lodge money in the branches and the external ATM only provides an external cash withdrawal service. The result is people are having to travel large distances to branches that are open to lodge money. It’s also impacting on people who need to lodge money into their account to pay bills.”
Deputy Brady continued “There is a genuine fear that these temporary closures are being used as a trojan house to close the branches permanently. Many services have been stripped from rural Ireland and Wicklow has been no different. Rural Wicklow has seen Garda stations and Post Offices close and it no secret that Bank of Ireland have been trying to close these branches in Wicklow for many years.”
“I have contacted the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bank of Ireland and asked for assurances that these branches will reopen and that will be done swiftly so people and businesses can do their bank safely and locally.”