Post office network central to protecting towns and communities all over Ireland
Speaking during a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications Networks, Labour communications spokesperson Deputy Duncan Smith urged the Government to take a long term, strategic approach to the post office network.
Noting the extraordinary role played by post office workers throughout the pandemic, Deputy Smith said that the post office network is the centre of many towns and communities throughout the country and must be protected.
Deputy Smith said:
“An Post and the post office network have gone above and beyond the call of duty connecting and protecting local communities throughout the country. An Post has always been willing to work with new services and is flexible in responding to new challenges, such as economic downturns. The essential workers in the network are the lifeblood of our towns and villages and the reason why the post office remains a much trusted focal point of our communities.
“The pillar bank model is creaking. With Ulster Bank pulling out of Ireland and the closure of Bank of Ireland branches, we need a strong community post office network to play a central role in protecting our towns and villages. The State must support this and recognise their existing network.
“It beggars belief that the State continues to allow post offices operate on a cliff edge, and with the end of the transition payment in June, up to 200 post offices could close in a very short space of time. That represents nearly 25% of the entire network. That is totally unacceptable. The State must act to protect our post office network that is at the heart of towns and communities.”