Fianna Fáil TD, Lisa Chambers has expressed serious concern over emerging reports of An Post’s precarious, and uncertain financial situation.
“In recent days, we have begun to hear hints of what the Bobby Kerr report, the report that will shape government policy on the future of the An Post Network, is going to recommend.
“For rural Ireland in particular, the report is not looking good. With a potential closure of at least 80 post offices, mainly in Ireland, many communities across the country are worried about their futures.
“There is a concern that their services are being sacrificed to keep the books balanced in a wide range of areas.
“In Government, Fine Gael has presided over a protracted, regressive campaign against rural Ireland, with the closure of Garda stations, rural schools, community centres,.
Local communities have become more and more reliant on their post office, not only for collecting their pensions, or paying their bills but also as a place to have a chat with the neighbours.
“In recent weeks, we have seen terrible and tragic attacks on pensioners in their homes, many of them living in very isolated places where other services have already been stripped back. It is no wonder that elderly people fear the closure of their local post offices.
“At the same time, we are hearing reports that the An Post network does not have sufficient cash to pay its wages bill beyond March. It is an extreme situation.
“And yet, Minister Naughten has failed to address any of these concerns. All of this creates an atmosphere of extreme uncertainty for those relying on post offices. It is not how the Government should be do business.
“The Minister comes forward with a comprehensive plan to protect our post office network. The Government has an action plan on almost every other topic; it’s time that the post office network gets the same support,” concluded Chambers.