Ballybrittas Post Office
The possible closure of hundreds of post offices would be devastating for Laois and other parts of rural Ireland according to Laois Sinn Féin TD and Spokesperson for Communications Brian Stanley TD.
The Laois TD said that If the proposed plan by An Post indicated to the Postmasters Union to close 400 post offices is enacted rural areas would suffer.
"It would be yet another blow to the economic and social development of rural Ireland, which has suffered massive devastation in recent years," he said.
The TD said reform of post offices has been neglected for a number of years and both An Post and the Government Department need to take positive action. The post office network needs reform. He said Sinn Féin and others have put forward alternatives.
"We need to expand services available, such as looking at providing motor tax renewal, small scale banking, and creating digital hubs of the network in the absence the ever slow roll out of the National Broadband Plan.
He said the Minister responsible for postal services, Denis Naughton, needs to decide whether rural Ireland matters and he needs to take a hands-on approach.
"We need to resist the closure of viable post offices,” he said.
Closures could drag Laois TD and Government Minister Charlie Flanagan into battles to keep offices open
In April 2017 a Post Office in Ballybrittas faced closure following the retirement of a Postmaster. TMinister Flanagan was forced to get involved in preventing its closure after a public campaign was mounted.
At the time Minister Flanagan claimed that after he met An Post senior staff, the company agreed advertise the Postmaster's vacancy. The position was subsequently filled.