Mobile post offices could spell the death of communities across the country

Introducing mobile post offices would spell the death of communities across the country, rural TDs have warned.

They believe hundreds of post offices will close if they are not allocated additional services such as community banking and issuing passports.

The Government accepted the motion put forward by rural TDs which aims to safeguard the network of around 1,150 branches, which went through the Dáil last night.

The technical group is giving the Government three months to implement an action plan and want a model of community banking, similar to New Zealand, introduced which they believe could draw 1m customers into post offices.

Speaking in the Dáil, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Micheal Ring said he was “fully aware of the importance of the post office in rural communities”, that they have a role in boosting local economies.

He said his officials were looking into providing a “basic payment account”, but added that An Post has already indicated it will launch such a service next year.

Cork South West TD Michael Collins said he was very worried about details of a leaked report which recommends mobile post offices be introduced. “That will lead to the demise of rural post office, so we are totally opposed to that,” he said.

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae said post offices are not looking for handouts but instead a way to keep their doors open. He said: “We want to ensure that in 10 years’ time and 20 years’ time that we will have the same amount of post offices that we have now. If we do nothing we will lose 300 to 400 post offices over the next two to three years.”


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