Bank of Ireland have confirmed that three branches of their outlets in County Wicklow are to close.
Carnew, Rathdrum and Tinahely are among a list 103 branches that will close throughout the country.
Fears were raised early this morning for the Wicklow branches but it has since been confirmed the 3 listed above are to close.
Tullow in County Carlow is also on the list.
The Bank have said there will be no changes to services until September.
Fianna Fáil Cllr for the Baltinglass Municpal District John Mullen has condemned todays decision by Bank of Ireland to close 103 branches nationwide including the Wicklow branches in Tinahely, Carnew and Rathdrum. This leaves all of rural South and South West Wicklow without any banking service.
“To make this announcement as people in rural Ireland and rural Wicklow are coping with the continuation of level5 Covid lockdown is corporate cynicism at its worst.
There have been rumours of Bank of Ireland considering major branch closures over the past year but management withing Bank of Ireland remained silent leaving staff and customers totally outside the loop. I have campaigned with rural communities to save our rural banking when the Tinahely branch was badly damaged over ten years ago.
Todays announcement is a kick to the people of rural Wicklow when we are already down due to the severe effect of Covid Lockdowns, post office closures, credit union mergers and the loss of political representation with no TD in East, South or West Wicklow.
The people of rural Wicklow have been the most loyal of Bank of Ireland customers. I opened my Bank of Ireland account in the Tinahely branch when I was 17 and about to go to college. I kept it there through University and my working years in Dublin and it remains my bank account today. I did this because I appreciated the value of the rural network to our villages and towns.
I have asked for a suspension of standing orders at todays meeting of Wicklow County Council to discuss the matter and I have been in contact with the Financial Services Union to give my support for any actions that can be taken to ensure these services continue.
I am hopefully from the reaction of Councillor colleagues this morning that we will unanimously agree to a motion asking Bank of Ireland to reconsider this decision and to save banking service for rural areas.
People living in rural Wicklow are sick and tired of continuously losing the services that all citizens should have access to. We have lost access to economic and social growth, lost access to high speed broadband, lost our post offices and now we lose our banking services after 100 years. For small businesses, farmers, families and visitors this is a bad day for rural Wicklow.”