Fianna Fáil TD, Eugene Murphy, has called on the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten to spell out a concrete plan for the post office network
The Roscommon-Galway Deputy says a contract plan is essential rather than the Minister talking in vague terms about potential services and e-transactions.
Fianna Fáil believes that many of the post offices at risk of closure, while not financially profitable, are critical to the lives of the dispersed communities they serve.
“We believe that the Government should engage with An Post to develop a Public Service Obligation model to keep these post offices open and providing essential and additional services in rural communities," he said.
Conservative estimates suggest that almost half the of the country’s 1,100 post offices are currently not financially viable, and are under threat of closure.
“The confirmation from the CEO of An Post that 265 post offices are, in his opinion, in areas of no discernible population should be a wake-up call for Minister Naughten, and force an urgent review in Government of what our Post Office network should be used for," Deputy Murphy continued.
“Minister Naughten must come forward and identify the new services that he believes should be provided in our post offices to make them viable into the future.
“Rather than talking in vague terms about potential services and e-transactions, the Minister needs to come forward with a list of services with credible projections as to how these services can make the post offices viable and ensure their continued existence.
“The time for decision making is now; local communities are fearful about the future of their post offices, and what it means for the future of their towns and villages. Minister Naughten must act now."