FOLLOWING news this week that the AIB building in Frances Street, Kilrush, has been put up for sale, Independent county councillor, Ian Lynch has expressed concern that the town could be reduced to “village status” if AIB were to leave Kilrush.
In recent years, banks have closed in Kilkee and Kildysart. AIB have a lease up to 2029 on the building in Kilrush.
The branch building is for sale, with a reserve price of €775,000 to €825,000. It is being sold by Allsop Space and will be available for purchase on Tuesday, September 16.
“We are fearful about a possible loss of up to 12 or 13 jobs. It could be the start of Kilrush being downgraded to village status. Banks have closed in Kilkee and Kildysart. Businesses aren’t coming in when they don’t have that banking infrastructure there,” Councillor Lynch said.
“The concern is that down the road AIB are going to say it’s not worth their while to rent a place in Kilrush and they will close it down. The message we want to give out about Kilrush is that the town is open for business and, even though there are concerns out there, at the minute, we haven’t been told by AIB that they have any intention of closing down their branch in Kilrush,” he added.
“Another concern in Kilrush is the fact that the AIB branch is with Allsop, which would be considered the sale point of last resort of properties that can’t be sold. It’s not being sold as a normal property. In the long term, if they can’t sell it on the normal market, obviously there must be some reason for that,” Councillor Lynch speculated.
The Clare Champion contacted AIB head office in Dublin on Wednesday afternoon, asking if AIB have a long-term future in Kilrush.
“It is business as usual for the AIB branch in Kilrush,” was the extent of the reply from Niamh Hennessy, media relations manager with AIB.
The entire property is, at present, let to Allied Irish Banks for a term of 20 years, from February 29, 2009, at a current rent of €77,500 per annum. The lease provides for rent reviews every fifth year, a break option in year 15 and contains full repairing and insuring covenants. The lease expires in 2029.
The property includes a ground and two upper floors. Internally, the property provides a ground-floor banking hall, together with offices at first-floor level and attic level. There is a yard to the rear of the property, with direct access to John Street, which runs parallel to Frances Street.