Sinn Féin’s spokesperson for Roscommon, Claire Kerrane, is calling on Minister Denis Naughten to intervene and prevent the closure of over 100 rural post offices and “the destruction of rural communities”.
Fianna Fáil TD Eugene Murphy said that the Government should not and must not allow the closures to proceed.
And he has called on Minister Denis Naughten to prevent closures happening purely on the basis of ‘profit and loss’ considerations.
Post offices in this area which are set to close include Granlahan, Knockvicar, Loughglynn and Athleague, as well as Menlough, Woodlawn and Glinsk in County Galway.
Ms. Kerrane said: “An Post’s retirement deal is a very worrying development for rural communities and will no doubt lead to further decline of services in rural Ireland. It is estimated that over 100 small post offices are at risk of closure because of new contractual arrangements with An Post that have come about as a result of the attractive retirement deal that An Post is offering to existing postmasters”.
Ms. Kerrane called on Minister Denis Naughten to intervene and encourage the communities affected to make their voices heard.
“If the Minister is serious about reversing rural decline then he must intervene to save these post offices from closure”.
For his part, Deputy Murphy claimed that the post offices have been given no support to offer new services or reinvent themselves in the face of changing times.
It was, he said, Fianna Fáil’s view that the Department should initiate a Public Service Obligation (PSO) to keep these at-risk post offices open and to maintain the post office network at current levels.
“Minister Denis Naughten cannot allow these decisions to be made solely on the basis of profit margins. Rural post offices deliver a service that cannot be measured in profit and loss”.