Anger in Donegal towns at planned bank closures

Public meetings in Ardara and Raphoe this evening on Ulster Bank closure plans

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Anger in Donegal towns at planned bank closures

IFA representatives in Raphoe pictured outside the Ulster Bank which is due for closure in June.

By Staff Reporters editorial@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Two urgent community meetings are set to take place this evening in Raphoe and Ardara following the news Ulster Bank is set to close their branches in the towns.

There has been shock in both communities following the announcement on Friday that both areas are set to lose their bank branches.

Now plans are in place for two public meetings this evening to voice concern at the closures which are being described as another attack on rural Ireland.

One will take place in Friel’s Hotel on The Diamond in Raphoe at 5pm and everyone is invited to attend.

Ardara town traders have also organised an “extraordinary public” meeting for tonight to take place in the parish centre at 8.30pm.

They say they are hoping to “find a resolution to the disgraceful proposed closure of our one and only Ulster Bank” in the town and everyone is invited to attend.

There has been strong reaction for politicians and the public to the news, which will leave both without any full-time bank branches in the town.

Meanwhile, it is claimed that staff numbers at the Letterkenny branch of Ulster Bank will also be affected by further job losses.

Speaking about the closures and redundancies in Donegal, Gareth Murphy, Senior Industrial Relations Officer with the Financial Services Union said, “Donegal will be particularly hard hit by the scale of the Ulster Bank closures and job losses. Two branches, at Raphoe and Ardara, are earmarked for closure and the bank is intent on reducing staff numbers at its Letterkenny branch. Closures and reductions are also planned for neighbouring Sligo.”

Last Thursday, Ulster Bank announced the closure of 22 branches in 11 counties in the coming months, including branches in Ardara and Raphoe. The bank also confirmed it is laying off 220 people and consulting with the Financial Services Union.

Among those calling for the reversal of the decision are a number of Donegal TDs.