Bank defends counter policy
Bank Of Ireland is standing firm behind its decision to close the counter cash services at Ballymote, Tubbercurry and Manorhamilton.
A spokesperson told The Sligo Champion that "in County Sligo, three of our branches will provide all day external lodgement and withdrawal services by year end, facilitating 24/7 access to cash and cheque lodgement facilities, a significant enhancement of the service available within the county."
"When the downturn came, the Irish people bailed out Bank of Ireland. Now we need Bank of Ireland - which we still part own - to stand by communities such as ours," said Máire Doddy.
She and many others living and banking in Ballymote feel aggrieved at the piecemeal withdrawal of banking services in the town.
In March Ulster Bank announced it was closing its Ballymote branch altogether.
Amid a flurry of negative publicity, Ulster Bank executives agreed to meet with Sligo Leitrim TD and Ballymote native Eamon Scanlon in Dublin but made it clear there would be no change to their decision .
Three County Councillors raised the issue at the April monthly meeting of Sligo County Council, Cllrs Keith Henry, Dara Mulvey and Margaret Gormley.
The Council wrote to the bank strongly opposing the closure.
Ulster Bank's Public Affairs Manager Robert Kelly replied on 24th May, saying the decision to close the Ballymote branch was "never taken lightly."
With Ulster Bank out of the picture, many customers and businesses looked to Bank of Ireland.
In May Sligo Councillor Thomas Healy tabled a motion at County Council level.
He said it was "essential to maintain a full time bank service in the town of Ballymote."
His motion was deferred but passed in June. It called on the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to contact the Bank of Ireland to ensure they provide a five day service in Ballymote. He also asked the Council to prepare a report on the retention of existing banking services.