29 August 2002 Edition

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Councillor wants ATMs for rural communities

At least one ATM should be located in every town and village to serve the people who live in them, says Clonakilty Sinn Féin Councillor Cionnaith Ó Súilleabháin. "It would make money available locally and more than likely spent locally, thereby helping employment and the local economy," he said.

Ó Súilleabháin was welcoming the recent announcement by Bank of Ireland that it is to install 500 ATM facilities at non-bank locations around the country. He also urged, however, that as many as possible be installed in small towns and villages, rather than in shopping centres and filling stations in city suburbs.

"During the recent general election, I raised this matter publicly, saying that the lack of ATMs in small towns and villages is having a negative impact both socially and economically on these communities," said Ó Súilleabháin. "Over the last 10 to 15 years, the banks have closed down their branches in many small towns and villages, many of which have looked to tourism, festivals, regattas and other seasonal events to bring people into them to generate income for small businesses.

"I understand that the issue of locations for the new ATMs is not yet decided, and I would urge the bank managers in the West Cork towns to use their influence within the Bank of Ireland organisation to ensure that at least some of the local villages are allocated them.

"I would also strongly urge local community councils, tourism organisations and politicians to begin lobbying Bank of Ireland headquarters immediately so that rural West Cork is not left out when locations for the 500 new facilities are finalised."

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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