Welcome News from AIB as Cashless Plans are Shelved after Waves of Angry Protest

Cllr. Charlie Farrelly pictured outside the AIB in Castleisland on Wednesday with his leaflets announcing the local protest meeting for the coming Tuesday evening. The meeting has now been stood down after today’s decision reversal by the board of the AIB. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The levels of protest coming down the tracks at the Allied Irish Bank decision to cut all cash transactions from 70 of its branches throughout Ireland – including five in Kerry – would have matched the outrage at the Right to Water protests in 2015.

Today’s welcome news of the AIB reversal of its decisions has lifted the spirits of rural Ireland and especially those 70 small towns which were destined to lose the bulk of services provided for generations by the bank.

Cllr. Farrelly Out of the Traps

As far as political reaction is concerned, Cllr. Charlie Farrelly, who featured on the RTÉ 1 news last evening, was the first out of traps locally and probably nationally, with a declaration of protest at the downgrading in Castleisland first and the protest was planned to move to Killorglin and Dingle and beyond.

Cllr. Farrelly had leaflets printed and some distributed less that 24 hours after the AIB broadside on rural Ireland on Tuesday.

There was to be a protest meeting on the street outside the AIB here in Castleisland on the coming Tuesday evening at 6:30pm and onwards from there.

Leaflets a Collectors’ Item

His leaflets are now, thankfully, collectors’ items and the voice of the people has been heard loud and clear.

Cllr. Farrelly rang earlier in praise of the action taken in Dublin today by Kerry’s Danny Healy Rae, TD and his independent colleagues, Mattie McGrath of Tipperary and West Cork’s Michael Collins.

“This would have been a huge campaign against the AIB if they hadn’t pulled the plug on the plans they had. The people of rural Ireland stood up for themselves and the government parties smelt the bread burning and they simply had to act or be swallowed by the waves of protest that were coming their way.

Impressed and Grateful

“I’m impressed by and grateful to the people who came out and supported me and rang or sent texts since this broke and for their enthusiasm following my calls for the protest meetings to begin,” said Cllr. Farrelly – who said that he got great support from his council colleagues.

“It is heartening to see how the people of Castleisland and rural Ireland stood up for themselves on this occasion and not for the first time in history,” he said.

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