Cllr Pearse McGeough: Time for Action over Dunleer Bank Closure

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has said the time has come for action over the Bank of Ireland’s decision to close 103 branches in Ireland including the one in Dunleer.

He was speaking after he hosted an online public meeting with Imelda Munster TD.

Cllr McGeough said “the meeting was well attended and included Independent Cllr Hugh Conlon, members of the business community and the Community Sector as well as other customers of the bank. The debate was lively and everyone had their say and we now have a plan to forge ahead to oppose the closure.”

At the meeting, Cllr McGeough pointed out that although Sinn Fein was holding a series of these meetings across the island, this was NOT a party political issue and indeed in other counties concerned Fianna Fáil Cllrs and independents had attended the meetings.

According to Cllr McGeough, “we were unable to do anything when Ulster Bank made the decision to pull out all their branches but it’s different with Bank of Ireland as they were bailed out to the tune of €4.7 billion and the Minister for Finance, on behalf of the Irish people holds a 14% shareholding in the Bank so that is the leverage we have and we need to focus on that leverage.”

He also pointed out that “Instead of having 103 small campaigns we must consolidate our efforts into a bigger campaign. There is no guarantee that we can save all 103 branches but perhaps we can save some. Pearse Doherty TD is leading the campaign but is depending on local people to get behind it. Louth will not be found wanting.”

When asked about how people can help, Cllr McGeough said “there were a number of good ideas that came from the public meeting and the time has come to forge ahead with them.

  • Email the Minister of finance to get a moratorium on the decision until the end of 2022 minister@finance.gov.ie
  • Sign the uplift petition – (consolidation of signatures rather than individual petitions throughout the country)

Petition: https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/keep-our-bank-branch-open?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1614717394&utm_campaign&utm_medium=myuplift&utm_source=fb-share&share=535c9548-89b7-46d0-aade-3feac6e5e09f&fbclid=IwAR33YPOSpdL6925tWaTT84_qqW-5WjI_wLhISOHAxnBfhBf1U2kBgJSMwGE

  • Send emails to your TDs – Imelda Munster TD, Ruairí Ó Murchú TD & Ged Nash TD are on record opposing the closure. We have 5 TDs in Louth:

Imelda.Munster@Oireachtas.ie

Ruairi.omurchu@oireachtas.ie

gerald.nash@oireachtas.ie

Fergus.odowd@oireachtas.ie

Peter.fitzpatrick@oireachtas.ie

  • Contact Dunleer branch telling them how valuable the branch is to the area (Telephone 041 6851108, David Duffy is the manager)
  • Banks rely on customer loyalty and traditionally people remain with the same bank regardless of what happens – tell Bank of Ireland, If you leave Dunleer, we are leaving you!

A moratorium on the decision until the end of 2022 will allow us to get through this Pandemic and give us time to make a case for Dunleer branch to remain open.

Cllr McGeough: Closure of Dunleer BOI is ‘A Slap in the Face’

Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse McGeough has described the Bank of Ireland’s decision to close their branch in Dunleer as ‘a slap in the face to its customer in the area’.

Cllr McGeough said “Dunleer is progressive community with a strong industry base with a number of very successful community led initiatives that have worked hard to improve the quality of life for citizens and the loss of the Bank of Ireland branch in the area is a huge blow not only to those who reside in the village itself but also to the outlying surrounding areas.”

The Bank of Ireland announced the closure of 103 of its branches across Ireland with Dunleer the only branch in County Louth facing closure.

Cllr McGeough said “I am very concerned at this particular closure because it is the older people who are once again going to suffer. This pandemic has increased anxiety among our citizens and has highlighted the inequality in our society as businesses have been forced to go online while those who are not ‘tech savvy’ or ‘digitally minded’ have been left behind to fend for themselves.

“This is yet another example where big banks ‘assume’ that everyone has a computer, knows how to use a computer, has a sufficient level of literary or has adequate broadband in this rural area. This is a slap in the face for all those customers from the area that have been loyal for probably most of their lives and to make the decision in the middle of a Pandemic when people are already feeling isolated is unforgivable.”

“I am calling on the Bank of Ireland to reverse this decision and think again about the effect it would have on their customers in Dunleer.”