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The decision by the Department of Social Protection and Minister Joan Burton to award An Post another contract to provide over the counter cash transactions has generated a warning from Vincent Harney, a Westmeath postmaster leader, that this does not remove the serious threat to the long-term future of many post offices in Westmeath.
In a response to recent revelations indicating that up to 400 rural post offices could be facing closure, Deputy Colm Keaveney has remarked that closing these local services could prove detrimental for social and environmental costs. "It is critical that in dealing with our current fiscal difficulties that we remember that the calculation of the cost of any reforms must include external factors such as social or environmental costs. In this case, rural post offices form a vital part in our rural communities and the calculation of the savings from any reform must take the social costs of the closure of post offices into account.”
The Irish Postmasters Union (IPU) today welcomed the new agreement between An Post and AIB that will increase the services available in some local post offices.
Galway East Labour Party TD Colm Keaveney has called on the Government to make full use of the post office network to deliver public services in a cost efficient manner.