The sign which was put up over the Easter weekend announcing the closure of the ATM outside Maddens Centra in Termonfeckin.
Sinn Fein Councillor Tom Cunningham has said that he is ‘disappointed’ at losing the only external ATM machine in Termonfeckin but he ‘totally understands’ why it has closed.
Cllr. Cunningham said “Madden’s Centra shop was the only ATM machine that could be accessed after 10.00 pm. Thankfully the one inside the shop will be available during the shop’s opening hours.”
Cllr. Cunningham said “I totally understand why Maddens have taken this difficult decision and they have no reason to apologise. The inconvenience to customers and the community is the fault solely of the thieves who are attacking small communities like ours up and down the country.”
There has been a spate of ATM thefts across the country, all of them aimed at businesses in small communities such as Termonfeckin. The raids are carried out using stolen heavy machinery and take less than five minutes.
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“These robberies are putting businesses like Maddens at risk" Cllr. Cunningham said, "they are an attack on small communities that have few enough services as it is. Convenience stores in areas like this are living in fear that they will be next and it’s not fair for any small business to operate in that environment.
"It’s not good enough that no-one has ever been apprehended for these crimes and every resource needs to be made available to Gardaí for them to combat this scourge on communities" he added.
Cunningham said he will be speaking to TD Imelda Munster asking her to seek assurances from the Minister that there will be dedicated Gardaí assigned to this particular type of crime and that Gardaí will increase patrols in isolated areas where ATMs may be vulnerable to theft.
“In the meantime”, he continued, “there are things that the community can do. Keep your eyes open for any suspicious activity around ATMs, any strange vehicles in the area and also be aware of heavy plant and machinery moving at night. I would also urge owners of plant and machinery to ensure they are secure and immobilised at night when they are not in use.”
“I wish Maddens all the best and thank them for the service they provide to the community in Termonfeckin.”
If you see any suspicious activity in or around ATMs please phone Garda confidential line 1800 666 111 or Crimestoppers on freephone 1850 250 025