Not banking on improvements for hard-pressed rural areas
With the recent announcements of the reduction and withdrawal of services by the banking sector in the regions, the decline of rural Ireland continues unabated.
With the introduction of reduced services and the closure of bank branches in rural towns like Ballymote, Tubbercurry, Ballyhaunis and Kiltimagh, the writing is on the wall for the rural way of life. With the closing down in recent years of so many shops, pubs, post offices, Garda stations, credit unions, co-op head offices, food-manufacturing units, and government departments in rural areas, the subsequent job losses have caused untold stress and hardship for families in the regions.
With billions of euro spent in bailing out our ailing banks, which are owned by the people, and paying our political masters in Europe during the recent recession, this is a bitter pill to swallow. The difficulties people will experience travelling to the nearest large town to speak face-to-face with a bank official, and do their business across the counter, instead of trying to locate their pin number to bring a machine to life, leave a lot to be desired. Whatever happened to the age-old maxim that 'the customer is always right'?