The Bank of Ireland branch in Clara, which is to close next month.

Bank branches to close next month

Three local Bank of Ireland branches will close their doors for the last time early next month

The bank's branches in Edenderry, Banagher and Clara will close on October 8 along with 85 other outlets across the country as part of the bank's ongoing transition to digital banking,

The closures were first announced in March at the same time as the bank's new partnership with An Post that will allow customers to access a number of services in their local post office, including over the counter cash and cheque lodgements, withdrawals, and balance enquiries. The bank has written to customers to inform them of the closure date, as well as advising them of banking services available to them after October 8.

The closures next month will leave both Clara and Banagher without a local bank. Bank of Ireland customers in Banagher will have to travel 12 kilometres to Birr to avail of in branch banking, while customers in the Clara area will have to travel 11 kilometres to Tullamore.

Speaking to the Offaly Independent, Cllr Ken Smollen, who lives in Clara, says that the closure is bad news for the town and its people.

In addition to being without a bank when Bank of Ireland closes its branch on October 8, Cllr Smollen says that town will also lose its only on street ATM.

“There is an ATM in one of the shops but if people need money at night when it is closed they will have to go to Tullamore or Athlone,” he said.

A spokesperson for Bank of Ireland says that the arrangement with An Post will be in place before the branches close next month and "will enable customers to carry out a range of banking transactions at over 900 post offices across the country for no additional charge, as well as at Bank of Ireland branches".

"...In summary, there is no requirement to transfer to an alternative branch; customers can do their banking at any Bank of Ireland branch, regardless of where their account is held. They will keep their existing account number, sort code and IBAN. Customers can continue to use their debit card, ATM card and cheque book and any standing orders and direct debits will carry on as before. Customers can also bank over the phone, on the internet and using our mobile banking app."