Communications Minister to answer questions on closure of 160 rural post offices

Communications Minister to answer questions on closure of 160 rural post offices

Communications Minister Denis Naughten will appear before a meeting of the Communications, Climate Action and Environment Committee today to answer questions about a deal that will lead to the closure of 160 rural post offices.

The restructuring plan, which was worked out between An Post and the Irish Postmasters' Union, has been criticised over its likely impact on rural communities.

In addition to the Minister's presence, today's meeting will be attended by representatives from An Post, the Post Office Networks, the An Post Mailing Centres, and the Public Banking Forum of Ireland.

"We'll be asking An Post to explain the rationale behind the proposed closures of these post offices throughout the country and to outline the model that they are striving towards in order to modernise the post office network and ensure it is sustainable into the future," said Chair of the Committee, Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton.

Independent TD Mattie McGrath of the Oireachtas Rural Independent Group is unhappy with the involvement of the Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) and is determined to tell the Communications Minister what he thinks of the plan.

"I want to tell him that it's a rotton, stinking deal," he said.

"For them to negotiate, the IPU, this abandonment of post office services for rural villages, it's totally beyond their remit.

It's dirty, it's sneaky and it has to be reversed.

Fianna Fail TD and the party's spokesperson on Communications Timmy Dooley says he wants an alternative.

"We'll be trying to instill upon the Minister the neccessity to devise a new contract for these villages, recognising that they don't have to be the most enhanced but if it provides the basic service the people need then that's adequate," he said.

"Can we do that in a way that perhaps these services are delivered from the shops or from other co-located facilities within the villages and provide state funding to do this?"

Here are the locations of the closing post offices:

Digital Desk


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