Senator Eugene Murphy has welcomed local improvements to cash accessibility, stating that all main towns in County Roscommon now have ATMs and that all villages have access to cash until late in the evening.
Senator Murphy said this accessibility was down to the “tremendous work of Roscommon Credit Union, who fulfilled the vacuum left by the main banks when they closed their branches in the county”.
He added: “I welcome the moves by Finance Minister Michael McGrath to introduce legislation so as to insist that members of the public have access to cash”.
Meanwhile, Cllr Tom Crosby has welcomed the ‘Access to Cash Bill’ which aims to ensure that there is “reasonable access” to cash at ATMs nationwide.
The Access to Cash Bill will, it is hoped, ensure there is no further decline in the number of ATMs in towns and villages around the country, and sets out to restore the number of ATMs to 2022 levels, prior to the departure of Ulster Bank and KBC from the market.
Cllr Crosby said, “There are currently only three retail banks in Ireland, where previously there were 12. The constituency in which I am based has sadly seen a major upheaval in this area, with the loss of banks in both Strokestown and Elphin to name but two areas.
“Figures show that before the recent pandemic, just under €20 billion was withdrawn from ATMs in Ireland, falling to €13.4 billion in 2022, an obvious decline – yet it is my belief and the belief of those I speak to, especially the older generation, that cash is the favoured method of payment for transactions.
“Therefore I warmly welcome the introduction of this bill, which will closely analyse the current geographical situation and define what reasonable access to cash is and it my hope that this announcement is good news for rural Ireland,” concluded Cllr Crosby.