Support declared for rural post offices in Laois

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Post Office

Ballinakill Post Office which closed in 2018

The Government is being urged to urgently protect community post offices in the wake of further warnings from the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) that more closures are inevitable in Laois unless state intervention is put in place.

Senator Fiona O’Loughlin of Fianna Fáil has committed to working in Leinster House to ensure that Laois keeps its 14 remaining post offices.

“The post office is considered to be at the heart of local communities both rural and urban providing vital services to its customers,” she said.

“I will raise concerns over the threat of more post office closures in Laois. Our Post Office network must be valued for the role it plays in Irish life and the essential service it provides.  The services are vital to rural towns and to people living in rural areas,” said the former TD for South Kildare which now takes in Portarlington and other parts of Laois and Offaly.

In her statement, Sen O'Loughlin added that a recent review the IPU says that financial support of up to €17 million is required to secure the future of post offices nationwide. The report also estimates that a significant proportion of the network will become loss-making with an average loss of 19,181 per post office.

She added that under the previous government, two post offices in Ballinakill and Ballybrittas were closed during the national consolidation programme that followed on from the agreement between An Post and the Irish Post Masters Union when a number of postmasters sought to exit the business.

Bank of Ireland recently announced that it wanted to offer retail banking services in Post Offices after it closed 88 branches in the Republic including three in Laois.