Bank closure is a ‘bolt out of the blue’

SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat says he is in “disbelief” of the the news Bank of Ireland are to close a number of branches, including the one in his home town of Kilrea.

Speaking after the announcement, he said: “This is a bitter blow to a community that has supported the Bank of Ireland since it came to Kilrea full-time more than thirty years ago.

“In that time the people from a wide area give it their full support and I understand from my own enquiries recently that the branch was making a good profit. They are bewildered and feel badly let down and I am personally disappointed that I had to hear this bad news on the radio.

“Local people I have been speaking to since the announcement are full of praise for the staff that has served them over many years.

Older people remember with pride the campaign to bring the bank to Kilrea full-time in days when there was no choice and people felt they were not being treated fairly.

“I will certainly being making strong representations to the bank’s headquarters and will not be mincing my words when I say they have delivered a severe blow to a community of people who stood by them every day they operated in our town.”