Serious Concerns Raised Over Post Office Closures

Serious concerns have been raised following reports that 80 post office branches could close across rural Ireland.

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Communications Brian Stanley said Ireland needs to reinvigorate the network of post offices by extending the services which post offices provide.

He said: "The Post Office is a core component of the viability of small towns and villages. Removing this one service provider will have a negative knock-on effect for other services in the town.

"Rural Post offices have faced a series of threats to their viability over recent years. Funding cutbacks, the EU postal services directive, and the move by the Department of Social Protection towards electronic fund transfers in respect of social welfare and pension payments has meant the role of the Post Office has been undermined in Communities across the country.

"The reports today come alongside news of further bank closures in rural Ireland. The withdrawal of banking services from rural Ireland should represent an opportunity for An Post to expand the range of financial services that it offers.

"We need to reinvigorate the network of post offices by extending the services which post offices provide to include motor tax renewals, business rates, rents, and other Government payment services and by the retention of existing services such as social welfare payments."


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