Fianna Fáil Deputy, Robert Troy, has called on the Government to make a statement committing to retaining the mail distribution centre operated by An Post in Athlone.
The Longford-Westmeath TD made the comments after securing a Dáil debate on the issue last week.
Deputy Troy says Fine Gael’s refusal to invest in the An Post network has resulted in numerous post offices across the country being forced into closing their doors.
‘Many of these post offices are serving rural areas and play an important role in providing community services,” explained Deputy Troy.
“The future of the mail distribution facility in Athlone is also in doubt as a result of Fine Gael’s refusal to properly fund the network. Consultants have been employed to examine the future of the mail distribution network. However, information which I have received shows that these consultants haven’t even visited the Athlone facility to see first hand how the centre operates.
“These consultants need to engage with the management and unions representing workers in Athlone’s mail distribution unit. In doing so they will realise that there is great potential to develop the facility in the years ahead.”
Deputy Troy added that there is a great deal of confusion regarding who is responsible for delivering a sustainable future for the An Post network.
“The Dáil has been told that Ministers Humphreys, Naughten, and Ring all have varying degrees of responsibility for the Post Office network,” he said. “It seems neither of them wants to take on board this challenge and are instead shying away from confronting the problems facing our post office network.
“This attitude needs to change. One Minister must take on the responsibility for delivering a sustainable future for post offices. The Government can’t just sit back and watch the rapid disintegration of the Post Office network. This network plays a vital role in delivering community services, particularly in rural areas.
“Fine Gael Deputies must realise that a reform plan, backed up with meaningful investment, is needed to save the Post Office network.”