The Athboy Bank of Ireland built in 1925. Photo: Archive, Meath County Library.

Closure date for Athboy BoI branch announced

The bank confirmed last March it was shutting 88 branches in the Republic

Bank of Ireland is to close its branch in Athboy on Friday 8th October as part as a series of closures around the country. The same day the doors in branches in Arva, Cootehill and Kingscourt as well as Castleblayney, Clones, Granard, Castlepollard and Manorhamilton will also be shut for the last time.

The bank has written to customers to inform them of the closure date, as well advise them of banking services available after this date including at An Post locations, digital and phone services, and other remaining branches in the relevant county.

The bank confirmed last March it was shutting 88 branches in the Republic, largely covering locations closed temporarily in Spring 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 crisis.

Like Ulster Bank four years ago, the move to close branches is part of a "restructuring programme" to be carried out by Bank of Ireland. As a result of the closures, the Bank of Ireland branch network in the Republic of Ireland will be reduced by 88 to 169. In Northern Ireland 15 branches will close, leaving 13 open.

The latest closures are a further step in a revolution in banking with branches steadily disappearing from towns like Athboy and Cootehill. In Cootehill, for example, there were three operating branches 10 years ago - Bank of Ireland, AIB and Ulster Bank. However, the latter two closed in 2012 and 2017 respectively, and now Bank of Ireland is to follow.

With Kingscourt also on the chopping block, it leaves the nearest Bank of Ireland branch to Cootehill 16 kilometres away in Co Monaghan. For Kingscourt customers, the nearest will be Carrickmacross.

"Like many other companies with a large number of retail locations, and like banks across the globe, we had to change our branch services to better reflect how people are banking today. For a long time we kept our branches open when the general trend was to close them but, over the last decade, customers have been moving to digital banking and that has rapidly accelerated in recent years," said a spokesperson for Bank of Ireland.

"We will continue to operate an extensive branch network with a strong nationwide presence of 169 locations. This will be complemented by a new partnership with An Post, which will offer Bank of Ireland customers banking services at more than 900 locations across Ireland.

"This will include over the counter cash and cheque lodgements and cash withdrawals, with longer weekday opening hours than traditional bank branches, as well as Saturday opening. The closing Bank of Ireland branches have a post office within, on average, less than 500 metres," the spokesperson added.

Ulster Bank will eventually close its remaining three branches in Co Cavan, as well as others in Monaghan Town, Longford, Mullingar and Navan.

However, bank branches in Ballyconnell and Ballyjamesduff are among 25 Ulster Bank branches set to be traded to Permanent TSB.

A spokesperson for Ulster Bank stressed that the financial provider will "not close" any branches in 2021, and "do not" anticipate closing any branches in the first half of 2022.