Kildare County Council are interested in purchasing the gated Bank of Ireland building in Monasterevin for use as a community facility if they can find the funds.
Bank of Ireland has closed branches in Monasterevin and Kilcullen in recent months. Ulster Bank and KBC buildings will also close across the county as lenders leave the Irish market.
Local authority officials recently inspected the premises of the Bank of Ireland in Monasterevin, which is due to go up for sale in the coming weeks, the municipal district’s monthly meeting announced on May 18.
Services director Joe Boland said the council was keen to reallocate buildings to towns and villages and was exploring all possible sources of local and national funding.
Cllr Noel Connolly had asked the local authority to consider buying the former Bank of Ireland premises on Dublin Street, Monasterevin, for use as a shared services centre.
Conor Sweeney of the Local Enterprise Office said: ‘The Economic Development team recently visited the former Bank of Ireland premises in Monasterevin to assess its suitability for future development.
“We have been advised by Bank of Ireland that the premises are to be put on the open market for sale in the coming weeks and we have asked Bank of Ireland to keep us updated on this.
“Any considerations regarding the purchase of the site will depend on the available budget and/or future departmental funding programs that would facilitate this.”
Cllr Mark Stafford said there needed to be more acquisitions of private buildings for community use because “if they’re lost, they’re lost forever”.
Cllr Peggy O’Dwyer has also suggested the Ulster Bank building in Newbridge will be vacant in the coming months as the lender ceases operations in the Republic.
Cllr Tracey O’Dwyer said there were vacant units in Kilcullen which the council could buy or rent for community use.
She also suggested that the now vacant Bank of Ireland would be ideal for a public facility such as a youth service centre.
She said there was a need “for a safe indoor space for young people to meet just to hang out, play pool or table tennis, meet their friends and maybe play an Xbox game or PS5”.
She added that the Bank of Ireland was already willing to sell many of its closed buildings to local authorities across the country.
The council said there are currently no suitable community facilities owned by KCC in the Kilcullen area.
Insights to offer
Cllr Kevin Duffy said Limerick County Council has been very proactive in buying buildings for community use and may have ideas to offer.
ADVERTISEMENT – KEEP READING BELOW