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Ennistymon's AIB is one of four Clare branches set to go cashless

Anger in Clare as four AIB branches to go ‘cashless’

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Clare deputies have hit out at AIB’s decision to go cashless in 70 of its 170 branches nationwide, including Ennistymon, Killaloe, Kilrush and Shannon.

AIB branches will be losing traditional services in the coming months, meaning that no transactions involving notes, coins, cheques, foreign exchange or bank drafts will be offered in the affected banks. ATMs located outside the 70 branches are also set to be removed.

“This is yet another blow to rural Ireland and even more so to those who are of an older generation,” said Deputy Cathal Crowe.

“There are people out there in their 70s or 80s – many younger again and some even not far off my own age – who have never used a debit card and prefer to operate in cash.

“While this won’t be the way forever, it’s completely unjust to dismiss these people who have spent their lives working and contributing to society in the later years of their lives.

“This decision must be reversed. It’s ageist and anti-rural,” he added.

Deputy Michael McNamara described AIB’s announcement as a “slap in the face to rural Ireland”, particularly the tourism economy, as people face out of Covid-19 uncertainty and try to focus on building for the future,

“Coming on top of the Bank of Ireland decision to close so many branches, this is very damaging and the timing is just as cynical, coming just after the Dáil recess begins so it cannot be raised with the Minister for Finance to see what he intends to do given his shareholding and what his appointment as Governor of the Central Bank is doing about it.

“I know that there was little consultation with staff in the affected branches as there was with customers before this announcement. We’re back to the days of arrogant bank management and light touch regulation for which Irish society and our economy has already paid a huge price.

“Now rural customers and businesses will pay a price as will staff in the affected branches, having to deal with understandable frustration and uncertainty about their own futures,” he said.

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