Bank of Ireland, Lismore. (Picture: P Kiely)

West Waterford residents have continued to express their frustration at the closure of Bank of Ireland’s Lismore branch.

Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler, told The Avondhu that constituents living in the Lismore area have regularly contacted her on the issue since the bank locked its doors on March 23 of this year. Of particular concern seems to be the lack of any lodgement facility for local people.

“I am still getting queries and complaints in relation to the closure of Lismore Bank of Ireland and the lack of lodgement facility as the bank is still closed,” Deputy Butler said.

The West Waterford TD confirmed her ongoing contact with Bank of Ireland on the issue, stating that as recently as Tuesday last, she had spoken to the Waterford manager for the bank and requested an update regarding the reopening date for the Lismore branch.

She also posed the question as to when other banks in Waterford, which have been closed as a result of the pandemic, would open their doors to members of the public.

In particular, Deputy Butler made assurances that she had sought information from Bank of Ireland as to whether in the short-term, a lodgement facility will be made available for those living in West Waterford ‘without having to travel to Dungarvan or Fermoy’. The length of these journeys, the Deputy had argued, was ‘unreasonable’.

Deputy Butler expressed her concern last month that people may feel the need to keep their cash and cheques in their homes rather than making the journey to lodge them.

Supporting larger branches

Responding to Deputy Butler’s queries, Bank of Ireland stated: “The closures announced in March allowed colleagues from those branches to support our larger branches where social distancing between customers can be properly maintained in line with the public health guidance.”

Continuing, a spokesperson for the bank said that these steps allowed Bank of Ireland to focus its resources on the banking services ‘most in demand by customers right now’. 

Bank of Ireland noted that the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 meant that it ‘cannot be definitive regarding next steps at this stage,’ however no specific information was provided which related to the future of its Lismore branch.

Closures

Bank of Ireland temporarily closed 101 branches in towns and villages across Ireland in late March, with 161 sites remaining open.

Closures in The Avondhu region included the Bank of Ireland in Mitchelstown, Glanmire and Lismore, with only external ATM services still being available to customers.

The Avondhu contacted Bank of Ireland, requesting information about when these branches are scheduled to be reopened, however at the time of going to print, no definitive or specific information on this issue had been provided by the bank.