Rural Post Office closures will only worsen isolation - Pat Buckley TD
Sinn Féin Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has slammed news that close to 400 Post Offices are ear marked for closure across the state with the majority in rural areas.
Describing the rural Post Office as a social hub for many rural communities, he said these closures would only worsen the devastating isolation that many vulnerable and elderly people feel in rural areas.Deputy Buckley said;"The rural post office is an essential social outlet for many vulnerable and elderly people. We have seen in recent years the closure of local Garda stations and other community supports.
"These are cuts are badly felt by any community but in rural areas where the population and services are more scattered this can really hurt people."The consequences of this isolation felt by many in rural communities can be tragic. Older men in rural areas are at a particularly high risk of mental health problems or suicidal ideation and a major contributor to this is loneliness and isolation. "The Post Office has served as a place where people can go and meet others and experience some small level of regular socialistion. This must be protected and greater efforts must be made to tackle the overall problem of isolation also."