Tandragee bank gets reprieve
TANDRAGEE’S only bank - the town’s branch of the Ulster - has been spared the axe that has fallen on 22 branches throughout Ireland, half of them north of the border.
There were fears that Tandragee would be among the doomed Ulster branches, leaving the town without a bank, following the closure of the local branch of the Northern Bank in May, part of another major closure project, with so many banks going on-line and the result of so many shaky property deals.
Local Newry and Armagh MLA and DRD Minister Danny Kennedy said he was relieved that the bank would continue to operate in Tandragee, “helping the business of a mainly rural community, and I would appeal to that community to support the bank”.
“I was really concerned that the branch would be closed,” he said. “Tandragee is a basically prosperous area and the closure of the Northern was a deep psychological and business blow to the district. I feared for the town’s Ulster branch and the branch in Newtownhamilton which is also in my constituency. I am glad that both have been saved, although I do sympathise with the areas which have lost their branches.
The 11 branches to close in Northern Ireland are - Jordanstown; Longstone Street, Lisburn; Knock and Shaftesbury Square, Belfast; Harryville near Ballymena; Carryduff near Belfast and Dromore in County Tyrone.
The Moy sub-branch in County Tyrone is also going, as are those in Ardglass in County Down, Rosslea in County Fermanagh and Saintfield in County Down.
“It is a major relief that Tandragee and Newtown have escaped,” said Mr Kennedy. “These small town need banks to keep the wheels of commerce turning.”
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