Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has accused AIB of abandoning rural Ireland following the decision to close eight branches in Co Donegal.
The decision by AIB saw angry locals gather in Gaoth Dobhair last night.
The move will see a number of branches including Lifford, Dunfanaghy, Raphoe, Falcarragh, Gaoth Dobhair, Milford, Bundoran and Moville close its door for good.
Local post offices are expected to pick up some of its basic banking services.
However the closure of many West Donegal branches including Falcarragh and Gaoth Dobhair means that people will have to travel to Dungloe to carry out any business.
Deputy Doherty said: ” The AIB’s decision will be a serious blow to communities throughout the state particularly rural communities here in Co Donegal that are already suffering from a lack of investment and a withdrawal of services.
“AIB is a nationalised bank. The people own it. Yet it is being allowed to abandon rural communities across the state and to hike up its interest rate putting its customers under more financial strain. This is just weeks after the bank refused to pass on the ECB interest rate cut of half a percentage point to its customers.
“The government needs to show its commitment to rural Ireland. Its action plan on jobs means nothing to people in rural communities where more and more jobs are being lost and more and more services are being cut.
“This government was elected on a promise to create jobs yet again and again we hear of major job losses and the live register stands at nearly half a million. Its action to create jobs has been pathetic and subservient to its commitment to pump billions into zombie banks.
“Unfortunately the government’s record in rural Ireland is no better than its job creation record.”
It’s all a far cry from the TV ads of the 1980s – which featured the Gaoth Dobhair branch at the end and the AIB’s slogan of having branches “where you live.”
Last night local people voiced their concerns about the latest cuts to services in rural Donegal.