Postmasters demand action to ensure network survives

The Irish Postmasters’ Union campaign demanding that the Government produce an action plan to ensure the sustainability of the Post Office network will continue tonight with a public rally in Co Clare.

The union, which represents 1,100 postmasters throughout the country, is hosting a series of rallies this week before they travel to Leinster House next Wednesday where they will protest ahead of a Dáil vote.

A motion proposed by the 16 members of the technical group of TDs calls on the Government to produce a comprehensive plan setting out measures to deliver on their commitment to sustain the network as contained in the Programme for Government.

It wants existing business to be maintained and direct new business through post offices as identified in the Grant Thornton and Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications reports.

The technical group motion also calls on the Government to ensure that all tenders involving over the counter transactions be decided on both social and economic policies.

Irish Postmasters Union executive Tom O’Callaghan, who represents postmasters in Munster, will chair a public rally in Ennis tonight.

“The post office network is under serious threat and the network as we know it will be wiped out unless we get Government action now.

“While An Post has retained the Social Welfare payments contract for a possible six year term, this is only a temporary respite.

“The post office network will be decimated if the income from the welfare payments contract is lost. We need a plan to ensure that post offices play a central role in the delivery of welfare payments and other Government services and we need that plan now,” Mr O’Callaghan said.

“Already we are seeing evidence that the Department of Social Protection is forcing people into banks.

“If that continues, as is part of their plan, and if we lose the State Savings, the network cannot survive as it would amount to a loss of 60% of income.

“Between now and the Dáil vote on February 26, we will be asking every single TD how they plan to vote on the future sustainability of the post office network.

“We will also be lobbying all political parties in the run up to the local and European elections to have a plan for the post offices as part of their manifestos,” Mr O’Callaghan added.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at the West County Hotel in Ennis at 8pm.


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