Laois TD calls for the protection of rural post offices

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Laois TD calls for the protection of rural post offices

Ballybrittas Post Office in Laois came under pressure last year.

Laois TD and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications Brian Stanley has called for the protection of Ireland's Post Office Network.

Deputy Stanley made the call in the Dáil. 

“Rural post offices across Ireland must be protected and their services enhanced. As with Garda Stations and small rural schools, post offices have also come under attack from government measures and hundreds of post offices across rural Ireland have been threatened with closure.

“Many people living in rural Ireland have heard from their public representatives that they support local post office services. But liberalisation directives from the EU which are now threatening post office network were supported by many of these same representatives.

He said keeping An Post in public ownership can ensure adequate funding to the Universal Service Obligation to avoid any potential threat to pay and conditions of staff, which have already been tested by full competition.

“There is broad agreement on the need to expand the services provided by An Post which is the main recommendation of the Kerr report.However, there has been a distinct lack of progress on implementing these recommendations.

“Last week John Daly, the Director of Retail Operations at An Post warned the Committee on Arts, Heritage and Rural Affairs that 700 Post Offices in the state are not sustainable. If the government does not act quickly then the closure of these branches will result in many of the communities in which they are based becoming unsustainable.

“Rural communities have taken about as much as they can manage. We cannot allow the vital services provided by post offices to be stripped from rural Ireland," he said.