Rural post offices can breathe a sigh of relief today as it has been announced that the government has secured €30 million in loans to keep services running and to expand their parcel delivery service.
This comes after months of speculation about further closures in addition to those who have already shuttered there doors.
The funding will allow for a continuation of a five-day-week postal service and an expansion of its parcel delivery service, but will not the halt the ongoing closure of post offices across the company’s 1,125-strong network.
These funds will hopefully prevent post offices which serve a large number of rural customers such as Kilmeaden but due to restructuring of An Post some closures may be unavoidable.
Speaking on Déise Today Waterford Postmaster Séan Martin said “as far as I’ve been informed this is a once off payment to An Post and not the post office network, which is the post office side of it which is the retail side of it and not the delivery side. If this payment is not to the retail side of the network, I believe it falls way short of whats needed.”
He also says that if this payment is not to the post office network then “the majority of our negotiations with the government will be to minimise the amount of closures.”
When asked about whether he believes some post offices do need to close as a matter of efficiency he stated, “we do not accept that and we believe that the post office plays an important part in the community not only socially but economically. The money that is handed out by the post office in cash is then spent within the community, supporting business and keeping jobs.”
He holds the government responsible for the issues facing the post office union stating “the post office is paid per transaction and if the government continually coerce and encourage our customers to recieve their payments directly into the bank the post office system collapses.”
You can listen to the full interview linked below: