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Has Ahern heard of the rip-off republic?

YOU reported Justice Minister Dermot Ahern as saying (September 3) the Government might have to consider making banks charge for ATM withdrawals to reduce the amount of cash in circulation and discourage robberies.

As far back as I can remember banks have always charged transaction fees – electronic transactions, credit transfers, laser transactions and ATM withdrawals are all 25 cents each and, on top of these, there is a maintenance fee on each account of anything from €12.50 upwards.

These are all charged quarterly, in addition to the bank charge for the card, plus the Government stamp duty.

Ahern should know that people who rob banks do not know how much money is there before they rob them – unless they have inside information. Then, in your issue of September 4, he tried to clarify the statement he made the previous day and the old adage “when you’re in a hole, stop digging” comes to mind.

He said Ireland used lot more cash per head of population than other European countries. He went on to say the average person here withdrew €6,500 annually from ATMs compared to an EU average of €2,000. The reason for this, minister, is that Ireland is the most expensive country in the EU to live in. People don’t call us the ‘rip-off republic’ for the fun of it.

Jack O’Loughlin

Kilcoran Park


Co Cork


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