The potential closure of two post offices in County Waterford has been described as an assault on communities.
Waterford Fianna Fail TD Mary Butler was reacting following the emergence of a list of 100 post offices around the country at risk of closure.
Post offices in Kilmeadean and Ballinamult in Co Waterford are on the unverified list.
It has been reported that An Post has received applications from over 100 post offices nationally expressing interest in a voluntary retirement package.
It is understood that An Post are assessing the applications and their impact.
The Waterford TD says it’s a blow to those communities:
“Post masters and post mistresses are entitled to take voluntary redundancy. They have given years of dedicated service to their local communities, and should be able to retire with a fair financial package.
“However, this cannot be used as a backdoor way to post office closures. An Post and the Government have been actively seeking to reduce the number of post offices in rural Ireland for years, and have sought to use the redundancy scheme as a smokescreen to bring about closures.
“I am very concerned about how these changes will affect older people in particular. They are not as digitally literate as younger generations are and they, as a result, rely on the local post office to go about their daily business.
“Fianna Fáil has an alternative view of how post offices should be supported. We believe that the Department should initiate a Public Service Obligation (PSO) to keep these at risk post offices open and to maintain the post office network at current levels.”