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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 18 October, 2018
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265 post offices serve 'no discernible area of population'

Last month An Post refuted reports that 80 branches would be closed in an effort to plug their annual losses of €12 million.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THE HEAD OF An Post says that 265 post offices are not near any “discernable population” as closures of branches loom.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, An Post Chief Executive David McRedmond warned that “the whole system will collapse” if changes are not made.

He said that the Department of Social Protection had criteria for post offices that many did not fit.

“The target for the Department of Social Protection is that everybody be within 15km of a post office.”

He said that 265 branches were found to be “near no discernible area of population” and the company had to “be real” about their prospects.

On the same programme, Communications Minister Denis Naughten said that modernisation could revamp the whole post office network.

“We can bring additional revenue into the post offices and make many of those post offices that are currently struggling viable by using technology rather than seeing it as the demise of the post office”.

Rural

Last month An Post rejected reports that 80 branches would be closed in an effort to plug their annual losses of €12 million.

“We are currently completing the first detailed, in-depth review of the Post Office Network for many years. This review will take into account shifting demographics, the changing marketplace for services and the economics for postmasters.”

Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice said that the reports of post office closures were a sign of the government’s lack of commitment to rural issues, while Sinn Féin spokesperson on Rural Affairs Peadar Tóibín criticised the plan.

Tóibín said rural TDs were “utterly silent on such a critical issue”.

The Meath West TD said:

An Post has been described as the lifeblood of rural Ireland, especially at a time when we have seen the slashing of other vital services and serious population decline in many areas. Though technology is rapidly advancing,

“An Post has an integral role in servicing communities, and ways to innovate and increase the viability of the network has been identified by numerous reports.

“It is greatly disappointing that yet more closures are being proposed – following Fine Gael’s closure of 198 post offices during their last term. This relentless closure of post offices serves only this government’s Tory agenda – not the people of rural Ireland.”

Read: Man found guilty of murdering 25-year-old woman in Clonsilla in 2012

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