The closure of Moville’s Ulster Bank branch has been described as “devastating” for the entire community.
On Friday last, the bank announced the Moville branch was one of 14 in the Republic of Ireland which will be closed in March next year.
37 jobs are at risk as a result of the move and the bank said these losses would be ‘volunteer led’ with workers invited to redeploy to other areas in the bank.
A further 10 branches will also close in Northern Ireland.
The closure of the branch in Moville has led to serious concern and anger in the local community.
The bank’s many customers will now face a 60 mile round trip to the nearest Inishowen branch in Buncrana.
The announcement also follows the closure of the AIB Bank branch in the town in 2012.
That means in the space of just two years, Moville has seen two out of its three banks close, with just the Bank of Ireland remaining.
Each bank not only served the people of Moville, but was also used by customers from surrounding areas such as Redcastle, Muff and Gleneely.
Inishowen County Councillor Martin Farren said there was a lot of anger in the local community.
He said: “This announcement is just devastating for the area, especially for the staff.
“As far as I’m aware, they were informed first hand on Friday that the bank was closing. It must have come as a real body blow to them, coming just weeks before Christmas.
“It’s awful, but from the experience we’ve had before, nothing surprises me when senior management makes decisions about their branches. Common sense really doesn’t seem to prevail. There is no concern over how it will impact on their loyal staff or customers who have supported them down through the years.”
Councillor Farren said he had “no doubt” the bank’s customers would receive a letter informig them they would continue with their “excellent service.”
“But how can that be when there is no branch near to them?” he asked.
“Customers will now have to make a 60 mile round trip to the nearest branch in Buncrana. What about those people who don’t have a car or who can’t make it all the way to Buncrana? What are they supposed to do?”
He added: “Not everyone can or wishes to do their banking online.”
Colr. Farren said that the senior management “seem to have a policy to close their branches in rural Ireland.”
He said he would “try and do as much as I can” to get in contact with the Minister “to see if something can be done and this decision can be reversed.”