Seona O’Fegan has become the sixth woman in Galway to declare she will stand as a candidate in Election 2016. She is also the first in a series of community and post office candidates who will contest the upcoming General Election.
Ms O’Fegan, who will run in the five seat Galway West constituency, is postmistress at the Barna and Fr Griffin Road Post Offices, however she said her campaign will not just about the post offices, but will also focus on investment, education, health services, transport, and employment.
Speaking at the launch of her election campaign this week, she said: "Through my work as a postmistress, I listen to the concerns and needs of people. What I hear is a need for greater Government support for vibrant communities. A key part of maintaining and developing better services in communities is the Post Office as a front office for essential public and commercial services in villages, towns, and cities where people can collect welfare, pay bills, do financial transactions, and carry out government or local authority business."
Ms O'Fagan said current Government policy is "forcing customers to the commercial banks" and will lead to major post office closures. "When a post office closes," she said, "it is followed by further local business closures and the heart is torn out of the community."
Ms O’Fegan is the first of eight candidates, across the country, aiming to get elected on the platform of better services for communities. However she said the Community and Post Office Candidates group is "not a new political party", but a "movement of Independent candidates" who are postmasters or postmistresses and "share a common platform".