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The Post Office Network is a lifeline for rural Ireland - Martin Kenny TD

7 March, 2017 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for agriculture, food and the marine, Martin Kenny, who represents Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal, said today that reports that 80 post office branches could close across rural Ireland, are a serious concern.

Deputy Kenny said:

“The name of businessman Bobby Kerr is being associated with the proposal to close 80 post office branches, but Mr Kerr was saying in the summer of 2015 that the Post Office Network could be made viable by enhancing and diversifying its services.

“The Post Office Network is a lifeline for rural Ireland and is an essential feature of the continued existence of towns and villages. The closure of a post office has serious social consequences for any area.

“Rural post offices have not been supported, but have been presented with challenges ranging from funding cutbacks to the introduction of electronic fund transfer for pensions and payments from the Department of Social Protection.

“There are also reports today about closure of bank branches in small towns. This is a commercial decision by banks, but it is an opportunity for post offices to step in and take over some of the functions now carried out by banks, by extending the range of financial services they offer.

“The Government should commit to the survival of the Post Office Network in rural Ireland by encouraging people to use it to collect their payments from government departments, instead of insisting on electronic transfer.”

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