Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon-Galway Eugene Murphy challenged Taoiseach Enda Kenny in the Dáil this week in relation to the lack of action to safeguard the post office network.
Speaking during Questions to the Taoiseach during the Dáil this week, Deputy Murphy said that the vital post office service is in danger of collapsing and the Government is sitting on its hands and doing nothing .“The elderly and disabled people use the post office network the most so I feel they are being discriminated against- If action is not taken I fear that within the next 12 months almost 600 post offices could be in danger of closing,” warned Deputy Murphy.
“The recent news that two thirds of the 1,131 post offices are ‘economically unviable’ is very bleak. The post offices have been given no support to offer new services or re-invent themselves in the face of changing times. It has long been known that the services offered by the post offices need to be broader and take into consideration the changing needs of the people who use the post office, however the Government have done nothing to help preserve and support the rural post office. There have been many attempts to take more business away from them instead of helping build a different service that provides more banking like solutions.
“Minister Heather Humphreys and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht affairs need to take full responsibility for this urgent situation and develop a plan to save our post offices. A recent Grant Thornton report predicted that unless fundamental reforms are introduced between 450 and 500 branches will cease to exist by next year. This is a serious amount of jobs that will be lost as well as the isolation that will be caused for the older members of our community who look to the post office as a life line for their pensions and bill payments. We simply cannot sit back and let this happen,” concluded Deputy Murphy.