Bank of Ireland to drop Gaeilge option from its ATMs

The bank says the Irish language option is 'no longer viable'

Bank of Ireland to drop Gaeilge option from its ATMs

File photo of a Bank of Ireland ATM in Dublin | Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Bank of Ireland has confirmed it is to drop the Irish language option from its new ATMs.

Currently, customers are offered the choice of viewing their translation in 'English' or 'Gaeilge'.

However the company says a hardware upgrade on some machines means this option will no longer be available.

Bank of Ireland has been replacing older machines since 2010 with new  lodgement and withdrawal ATMs, which provide additional services.

In a statement, the bank says: "For some considerable period of time now demand for transactions through Irish on our ATM fleet has been falling steadily.

"When we analyse our ATMs which provide an Irish option, we find that fewer than 1% of ATM transactions on those devices are completed in Irish.

"Given this continuing pattern of low and falling demand, since 2010 where ATMs are replaced with newer devices across the country it is not viable to continue to provide an Irish language option on the newer LATM machines."

But a spokesperson says a number of ATMs will continue to carry the Irish language option.

Labour Party spokesperson on an Ghaeilge, Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has criticised the move.

"I am very disappointed to learn that Bank of Ireland are planning on removing the Irish language option from their ATMs across the country.

"For many years, this Irish language option has been a very welcome addition to banking services in this country and its removal shows very little regard for those who use the Irish language daily and live in Gaeltacht areas.

"The latest Census figures tell us that 190,276 people speak Irish every week. Initiatives like being able to take out cash as Gaeilge are a novel way of inserting the Irish language into our daily lives.

"Reversing this decision would be of little cost to Bank of Ireland but would be a significant symbolic gesture to Irish speakers right across the country", he said.