Closure of Post Offices in Laois and Offaly will have a 'devastating' effect says Laois TD

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

The closure of seven Post Officers in Laois/Offaly will have a ‘devastating effect’ in rural communities according to a Laois TD.

Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley said the impact will be ‘dreadful’ and the government is ‘determined to strip rural Ireland of vital services’.

“The list of 159 post offices announced to close today by An Post will have a dreadful impact on the communities in Laois/Offaly that will be directly affected, and is also yet another blow, among many to rural communities.

“Rural Ireland is losing jobs and losing basic services and much of rural Ireland is without basic modern communications with the National Broadband Plan is in a mess. These 159 closures will have a detrimental impact.

“Some counties will be particularly hit hard with closures. Laois will face 2 post office closures, Ballybrittas and Ballinakill and Offaly has 5 closures Geashill, Moneygall, Mountlucas, Pullagh and Walsh Island announced today.

“Whilst we understand this is a voluntary retirement scheme backed by the Irish Postmasters Union, Government has shown no interest in keeping our post office network alive and viable.

“The Government and An Post should not be using retirement of Postmasters to close Post Offices by stealth.

 “Sinn Féin has previously put forward alternatives to revitalise our post office network.

“On top of post offices becoming a hub in a community providing government and local services, we can introduce small scale banking such as used in New Zealand as an example.

“But after a series of reports, reform of our post office network has been neglected by successive Governments. Closing post offices may suit short term ends but at the expense of a long term vision. This Government is determined to strip rural Ireland of vital services,” Deputy Stanley said.