by Alan Jacques
AIB needs to be monitored very carefully by its main shareholder — the Government, according to Limerick Independent TD Richard O’Donoghue.
Unable to secure a meeting with the bank’s management, Deputy O’Donoghue, and members of his Rural Independent Group, arrived in person to its headquarters last Friday.
“Not long afterwards, AIB announced it was reversing its decision to close cash services at dozens of its branches nationwide, including Adare, Abbeyfeale, Kilmallock and Raheen,” Deputy O’Donoghue told the Limerick Post this week.
“It took serious representations by a whole selection of organisations to force AIB’s hand on this matter, but the Government played no role in it,” the Limerick TD claimed.
He said that the move to cashless, “In itself, this was a step closer to closing down branches altogether.
“There isn’t a major shareholder the world over, that, like our inept Government, would not have been privy to AIB’s plans to further discommode the people or rural Ireland. It should now sit up properly at its desk, and keep the closest of eyes on the bank and not put the business and ordinary customer of AIB, in the likes of Abbeyfeale and Kilmallock, out to grass.”
The County Limerick politician has vowed to make sure of this even if the Government aren’t willing to watch over AIB, in which it is the lead component.
“Personally, I am not prepared to stand idly by and allow this bailed-out bank to rip the heart and soul out of rural communities. AIB’s bold plan would have undermined social inclusion and endangered vulnerable customers to the risks of online banking abuse and exploitation.
“I will continue to pursue an urgent meeting with AIB CEO Colin Hunt and senior bank officials. I represent a rural area, and the constituents I represent will not be silenced by this Government on banking matters, or any other issues that affect the people of County Limerick. That is my job as a TD for County Limerick.”