Matt Carthy calls on TDs to support Sinn Féin Dáil motion on rural post offices
Sinn Féin’s local MEP Matt Carthy has called on TDs from across the political spectrum to support his party’s upcoming Dáil motion aimed at saving 159 rural post offices which have been earmarked for closure. The proposed closures include 9 in counties Cavan and Monaghan.
Matt Carthy said:
“Under Fianna Fáil governments 755 post offices were shut down between 1999 and 2011. Now, under Fine Gael we are facing the impending closure of 159 post offices.
“Experience tells us that if these closures are not stopped others will follow and that further services will be removed from rural communities who are already devastated by the lack of government support or investment.
“The motion put forward by Sinn Féin deputies now provides the opportunity to TDs from all political backgrounds to speak as one and stop these closures.
“Local post office branches are a vital element in the sustainability of many small towns, villages and communities across Ireland. But our rural post office network has been under sustained attack in recent years.
“Sinn Féin is committed to the campaign to retain these vital local services across Ireland. As a first step additional financial and statutory services should be delivered through the post office. But, we also require a fundamental policy change and a rethink about how services are delivered to and for rural Ireland.
“Through this Dáil motion Sinn Féin TD’s, including Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, are calling time on Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s attack on rural Ireland. I commend them for that and urge the other Cavan/ Monaghan TDs to support the motion.
“The truth is that the proposed post office closures must be resisted if Rural Ireland is to have a future.”
The text of the Sinn Féin motion that will come before the Dáil reads:
“That Dáil Éireann:
the recent announced closure of 159 post offices across the State will have a devastating effect on many rural communities;
post offices form a vital part of communities, and have suffered long-term neglect by successive Governments, with hundreds of closures since 2000;
successive Governments have allowed the post office network to decline and have not allowed alternative services to be established and expanded;
postmasters and postmistresses are entitled to accept retirement packages, however, the criteria used by An Post in such instances, to retain post offices and advertise a new contract, is flawed; and
the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to protecting the postal network; and
calls on the Government to:
prevent the closure of 159 post offices across the State by advertising new contracts, offering alternative services and allowing the potential for co-location of post offices;
reinvigorate the network of post offices by extending the services which post offices provide, and by retaining existing services such as social welfare payments;
implement proposals contained in the Final Report Of The Post Office Network Business Development Group (Kerr Report) from 2016 which included post offices providing alternative services such as financial services and Government services before closing post offices; and
commit to a new model of community banking through the post office network.”
— Brian Stanley, Gerry Adams, John Brady, Pat Buckley, Seán Crowe, David Cullinane, Pearse Doherty, Dessie Ellis, Martin J. Ferris, Kathleen Funchion, Martin Kenny, Mary Lou McDonald, Denise Mitchell, Imelda Munster, Jonathan O’Brien, Eoin Ó Broin, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire, Louise O’Reilly, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, Maurice Quinlivan, Peadar Tóibín.