Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says the government cannot stand by and allow the decimation of essential community services and must take action to protect Post Offices.  Her comments come following reports that two-thirds of the country’s Post Offices could be under threat.

Deputy Smyth explained, “The situation facing our Post Offices is extremely stark and the government cannot continue to sit and do nothing.  Over the past five years we have seen the stagnation of Post Office services as successive Ministers commissioned one report after another.  To date, neither have been published.  If this government is serious about rural Ireland it needs to stop procrastinating and start taking some tangible action.

“Towns and villages across Cavan and Monaghan have lost essential services under Fine Gael, Garda stations have closed, libraries have had their hours reduced and small schools have seen cuts to teacher allocations.  Now Post Offices are under threat.

“Fianna Fáil recognises that the local Post Office is the fabric of many communities – it not only provides important services like savings schemes, social welfare payments and bill pay options, it’s a meeting place for people.  We have been extremely proactive on this issue – only last month we requested the establishment of a Joint Oireachtas Sub Committee tasked with securing the future of the post office network, however the government has shown scant interest.

“Rural Ireland cannot afford to lose another importance service provider. Fianna Fáil has a clear vision to expand the Post Office network.  We want to increase the products that are available and expand the services currently offered to make them viable and sustainable into the future”.