26 Feb 2014
NATIONAL NETWORK OF POST OFFICES PROVIDE VITAL SERVICES FOR RURAL IRELAND – IFAEnvironment & Rural Affairs
IFA Deputy President & Countryside spokesman Tim O’ Leary has welcomed clarification from the Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte that the Government does not plan to close post offices.
“An Post’s network of over 1,100 post offices provides an essential range of services to rural communities, with over 1.8million customers using post offices each year.”
Tim O’Leary said, “The decision by financial institutions such as AIB, National Irish Bank and Permanent TSB to reduce their nationwide branch network has had a profound effect on services in rural Ireland. Post offices across the country are uniquely positioned to secure their long-term future by expanding the current offering and meeting the demand created by the decision of these financial institutions to close branches.”
He said, “An Post must expand its current product offering to include a wider range of foreign currencies, foreign exchange debit cards and additional deposit and other savings products. There is a clear need for such services and An Post must respond to that demand”.
In relation to some recent post office closures, IFA has called on An Post to publish the criteria used when deciding on what post offices to close, and for better consultation with local communities if post offices are to close.