Minister gave incorrect information to Dáil on criteria for retention of post offices - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Féin rural affairs spokesman Martin Kenny said that the Minister Denis Naughton had given incorrect information to the Dáil about the review of the post office network.
Deputy Kenny said:
“The Minister incorrectly told the Dáil that post offices which were co-located with another business would be considered positively as part of the review of the network.
“Now, it turns out that this is not the case at all. It was also said that any settlement of over 500 people would retain its post office. Now, it seems that this is also not the case either. The definition of a settlement, outlined yesterday, is over 50 houses no more than 100 metres apart, based on the 2016 census.
“This puts even decent-sized towns outside the criteria. It is common enough that sizeable towns would have 30 or 40 houses in a cluster and then many more in nearby townlands within a few miles.
“It was made clear that the review will look only at the distance and numbers in the settlement and consider the advantages of co-location, for example, in the local shop or petrol station, only if all the other criteria are met.
“This is not what we were led to believe and not what we understood. People were thinking that settlements of 500 would keep their post offices. Those of us living in rural areas consider the parish as the settlement and the 2016 census definition very different.”