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'An attack on rural Ireland': Over 160 post offices to close nationwide

The list of offices closing will be issued at the end of August.

Image: Leah Farrell via RollingNews.ie

AN POST TODAY confirmed that over 160 post offices are expected to close in the near future after postmasters applied for a voluntary retirement package.

An Post said the acceptance of the packages  “will likely result in the closure of 161 post offices out of a network of 1,111 post offices”.

The list of offices closing will be issued at the end of August.

An Post said it has committed to the proviso that communities with over 500 people will have a post office and that over 95% of the population will be within 15km of at least one location.

Debbie Byrne, managing director of An Post Retail said: “Today’s news marks a key point on the journey towards a stronger post office network. Some closures were inevitable in a network that has been largely unchanged for many years.

“The consolidation of post office business will strengthen the remaining post offices, and the development of a wide range of new services over the coming months and years will see a reinvigorated network across 950 post offices.

“We appreciate that these decisions have not been easy for the individual postmasters and we are grateful for their dedication over many years of service in their communities.”

Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley said the Government should not and must not allow the closure of the rural offices.

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“Let me be clear. Post masters and mistresses who opt to take the redundancy package are absolutely entitled to do so. They have given years of fantastic service to their local communities.

“However An Post and the Government cannot be allowed to use these redundancies as a smokescreen to close the post offices.

“This would constitute a direct attack on these communities and on rural Ireland.”

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