Government accused of ‘inaction’ on future of rural post office network

Deadlock as the Postmasters Union pulls out of negotiations.

Sligo News File

The rural post network is in jeopardy following the decision of the Postmasters Union to pull out of negotiations with Government on the future of the service.

Martin Kenny TD, Sinn Fein

Expressing disappointment at the situation, Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny has laid the blame for the apparent deadlock on what he said were “inaction by the government and procrastination by senior management of An Post.”

He said:

“There are many post offices around the country in small towns and rural areas that are under threat of closure such as the Ballygawley in Sligo and Aughavas in Leitrim and their future has been on hold pending these negotiations. I am seeking reassurances from Minister Denis Naughton that such post offices will be kept open and that this development is not used as an excuse to close them.

“I understand that part of the negotiations was around a changed model of payment for postmasters with low transaction post offices which had other businesses operating on the premises. This would mainly affect the more rural part of the network. The provision of additional services at the post offices including banking and state services is regarded by all as the way forward, yet progress is at a snail’s pace on all these issues.”

Naughton, he added, now needs to take the issue in hand “and set deadlines for progress as rural Ireland is hearing a lot of talk about regeneration but this break down is a signal of the reality that people fear.”