Louth TD meets Bank of Ireland chief over closure of Dunleer branch

Michelle O'Keeffe

Reporter:

Michelle O'Keeffe

Email:

michelle.okeeffe@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Louth TD meets Bank of Ireland chief over closure of Dunleer branch

Louth TD Ged Nash and Labour’s Finance spokesperson met with Bank of Ireland CEO Francesca McDonagh to urge the bank to reconsider its plans to close the bank’s branch in Dunleer.

He also raised the matter directly with her at the Oireachtas Finance Committee last week.

Speaking after the meeting with the CEO Deputy Nash said: “I made it very clear that following the online public meeting I held three weeks ago with and for locals who are concerned about the threat hanging over the Dunleer branch, that she must reconsider this short-sighted action.

“I presented Ms. McDonagh with a petition signed by Dunleer and Mid-Louth residents who are concerned at the obvious impact the proposed closure will have for older customers and for the business and commercial life of the town.

“It is fair to say that the Bank CEO and I have a considerable difference of opinion on the future of the bank branch network.

“It should not be a matter for bank executives alone to make decisions on the future of the sector. Banks, especially those in which the State holds a share have wider social and economic function beyond the bottom line for their shareholders and that is why we need a national debate on the future of banking here.

“I am left in no doubt that Bank of Ireland is using the pandemic as cover to close branches and that is why I asked the CEO to at the very least to pause all planned closures until we get to the other side of Covid 19 so an honest assessment of demand and footfall can be undertaken.

“In the meantime, our campaign to prevent the planned closure of the Dunleer branch continues.”