Fianna Fáil TD for Galway East Michael Kitt says Post Offices should be allowed to roll out more services to ensure their viability into the future. Deputy Kitt made the recommendation during a Dáil debate on the future of the Post Office Network.
Deputy Kitt commented, “Many people are worried about the threat to the post office network, and here in Galway there have been a number of public meetings held to discuss the future of post offices in Barnaderg, Caherlistrane and Cappataggle. These offices cannot be allowed to close. They provide essential services to the local community, but of equal importance is the social outlet which they provide. Many post offices act as a meeting place for people, where they can catch up with others and find out about local events and news.
“Rural communities will suffer socially and economically if post office closures continue. Disadvantaged urban areas will also be affected. Cappataggle is located halfway between Ballinasloe and Loughrea and the loss of its post office will force people to travel longer distances to access services.
“All avenues need to be explored in order to maintain and improve the current post office network. Fianna Fáil has put forward a range of options, which would see post offices offer more services including motor tax and driving licence applications. Hospital charges, property tax bills and other Government services could also be processed.
“Rural communities in Galway have already seen essential services decimated with the closure of Garda stations and cuts to small schools. We cannot afford to stand by and see the post office network downgraded. New uses and types of business must be considered for post offices. I am confident that, if given the opportunity, post offices will develop new business and will be a viable alternative, particularly for those in rural areas”.