8 March 2021
By Tom Collins
Cork East Labour TD Seán Sherlock has called on the Government and Bank of Ireland to reverse the decisions made to close branches in Cork, the county worst affected by the bank’s decision.
Said Deputy Sherlock:
“For Bank of Ireland to make this decision in the middle of a COVID pandemic, I would have to believe that it is a very cynical move because it realizes that the ability for those communities to resist this change is completely neutered by the fact that you can’t physically get out and march on the streets, or show any form of legitimate protest against these moves. I think government has become hamstrung in the middle of this COVID crisis, because its reaction to the loss of so many branches of Bank of Ireland throughout the country has been absolutely astounding in the negativity and apathy that is shown towards the loss of all of these branches.”
“We are calling on the government to haul Bank of Ireland in. It’s not enough for the finance minister to say that this is a matter for a commercial entity such as Bank of Ireland to manage their own affairs. There it is the loss of the social and commercial lives of towns where towns are already being hollowed out in the places such as I’ve mentioned already in Cork, and taking out a branch in a place like Mitchelstown taking out a branch in a place like Bantry has a massive impact in relation to the commercial life of a town. It further diminishes the commercial life of its own, and life in general that within those tones. So we’re calling on Bank of Ireland, and we’re calling on the government to come together with a view to revising these decisions because I think this policy by Bank of Ireland will have the effect of ripping the heart out of the commercial life of provincial Ireland and that is not the direction that we want to go in and I think it needs to be reversed.”
Deputy Sherlock is hosting a public meetingd online to raise support to halt the closures. Details of how to join this public meeting on Tuesday the 9th March at 5:30pm are on Deputy Seán Sherlock’s Facebook page.