Better ATM facilities are needed in our popular tourist areas, a Fine Gael senator has said.
Clare’s Representative in Seanad Éireann, Martin Conway, has sharply criticised the banks’ management of ATM facilities in North and West Clare over the busy summer period.
Senator Conway said: “Last weekend was one of the busiest weekends of the year for many tourism areas particularly County Clare as visitor numbers flocked to our tourist attractions at the Cliffs of Moher and along the Wild Atlantic Way.
“Numbers continue to grow this week with the ever popular Fleadh Cheoil taking place in Ennis.
“When people visit our area they like to spend money and we encourage them to do so, but unfortunately they were unable to access cash facilities as all ATMs were out of service in North and West Clare for most of the weekend.
“This happens on a regular basis and is unacceptable for local people, but it also severely impacts the spending power of tourists.
“Due to the seasonal nature of the tourist industry, many small businesses cannot afford the exorbitant costs involved with providing laser and credit card facilities and are therefore fully reliant on customers having access to cash.
“As tourism is a significant employer for many parts of rural Ireland, I believe that this situation needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“I am calling on the local Banks, both AIB and Bank of Ireland, to ensure that ATMs are not out of service for the remainder of this year’s tourist season.”