Local Fianna Fáil TD, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said that Fine Gael have a lot to answer for when it comes to the closure of a number of rural post offices in West Cork.

“Fine Gael is attempting to lay the blame on An Post for the potential closure of Ballineen, Desertserges and Drinagh post offices. They are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes and deflect from their own failures.

“Some months ago, a large public meeting took place in Ballineen where local Fine Gael Minister, Jim Daly was given a place on the top table. Local people were told that everything would be done to save their local post office.

“Fast forward six months, and it’s now clear that they were hollow words, and these closures were happening no matter what.

“As I said previously, post masters and post mistresses are absolutely entitled to take their redundancy packages. They more than deserve them. However, there is no excuse for An Post and the Government not offering replacement contracts to other people willing to keep the post office open.

“The closure of these post offices in West Cork, and across the rest of rural Ireland, is because of Fine Gael. They have allowed An Post make these decisions and have not chosen to intervene.

“Hollow words and crocodile tears from Fine Gael TDs and Senators mean nothing to the communities who will lose this really important service.

“Last year, I hosted a large public meeting in Dunmanway with Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Communications, Timmy Dooley where many postmasters and postmistresses spoke about their desire to keep open their offices.

“An Post and Fine Gael have put a gun to the heads of postmasters and post mistresses. The closure of rural post offices in West Cork is on their collective heads,” concluded Murphy O’Mahony.