Fianna Fáil has written to the Chairpersons of two separate Oireachtas committees requesting that a joint sub-committee be established, comprising members of both the Committee on Communications and the Committee on Regional Development and Rural Affairs, tasked with reporting on the issue of securing the future of the post office network.
At present, responsibility for the post office network, and its future renewal, falls between the stools of two Governmental departments and three line Ministers.
Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Timmy Dooley TD said: “Post offices are an important strategic state asset, which act as an integral hub for both community and commercial activity in urban and rural Ireland. The post office network renewal must be prioritised and accelerated.”
Party Spokesperson on Regional Development, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht, Deputy Ó Cuív added: “It is our view that an all-party Oireachtas subcommittee should be immediately established that would enable stakeholders such as An Post; the Irish Postmasters’ Union, responsible government Ministers, and the general public who rely on the post office network to make presentations to this subcommittee, setting out concrete policy positions, and their vision for the post office network.”
Following this period of stakeholder engagement, the subcommittee would publish a report setting out its recommendations to secure the future of the post office network.
The current, and former, government have shown scant interest in renewing the post office network. Commitments were made in the programme for government to implement the findings of the Bobby Kerr report but no one in Government seems to see this as a priority.
Fianna Fail is taking the initiative and requesting that an all-party subcommittee be established to accelerate the renewal of the post office network.