Updated: 05/05/17 : 05:54:25
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Banking services needed for Ballymote

The imminent closure of the Ulster Bank branch in Ballymote is part of a pattern of closures and cutbacks throughout rural Ireland and measures need to be identified immediately to keep vital services in rural areas.

Cllr Thomas Healy submitted a motion to Sligo County Council calling for the Minister for Finance to contact the Bank of Ireland requesting an expansion of their service in Ballymote.

“This closure will affect both personal and business customers of Ulster Bank in Ballymote detrimentally”, stated Cllr Healy. “Sinn Fein has lobbied Ulster Bank at the highest level and we are very concerned by the lack of regard the bank has for the impact of its closure and the lack of alternative facilities provided. Many business owners deal largely in cash and the withdrawal of this facility is a huge blow. We need to maintain as many services and facilities as possible in rural Ireland and I am calling on the Minister to intervene directly here.

"The other Bank facility in Ballymote is the Bank of Ireland and they currently operate a three day service only. I believe that the Bank of Ireland has a social and moral debt to the people of Ireland for the billions of euros invested in the bank by the Irish taxpayer. It is time to repay the bailout with positive action now.”

“I am calling on the business and personal bank account holders to write to their local Bank of Ireland branch requesting a full five day service. In addition I will be seeking a detailed submission from Sligo County Council on the provision of banking services for Ballymote. We need to enhance the Credit Union facilities and allow the Post Office network fuller banking services, it is time to show which bodies are interested in keeping rural Ireland alive."