Bank of Ireland says due to falling demand, it is no longer offering customers the opportunity to conduct banking services through Irish via its new ATM network.

Since 2010 the lender has been replacing older withdrawal ATMs with newer LATMs – which include lodgement as well as withdrawal services.

These new machines do not include an Irish-language facility for customers.

Bank of Ireland said: "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."

The bank does, however, point out that it provides an Irish language option on all retail ATMs (machines that are co-located within shops) and on some ATMs located within its branch network.

In addition, Bank of Ireland said it "supports Irish-speaking customers by providing some key services in the Irish language such as the provision of chequebooks, and withdrawal and lodgement dockets in Irish".

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Irish language Peadar Tóibín has expressed his dismay the decision to remove the Irish language option from ATMs.

Mr Tóibín said: "The banking sector in Ireland has been extremely poor in facilitating Irish language speakers in the use of the Irish language.

"It is impossible to get statements, online banking or any customer service in Irish anywhere.

"Bank of Ireland have been unique in making an effort to simply facilitate the Irish language with the provision of ATMs with an Irish option.

"This cost, little if anything, met the needs of thousands of customers and allowed the bank to show that it values a key element of our identity," he added.