A funding package worth €30 million has been announced today (Wednesday, June 1) to support the national post office network over the next three years.

The annual funding of €10 million will aim to safeguard the most vulnerable outlets in the network of around 900 post offices.

Exact details of how the money will be distributed have yet to be determined as consultation is required between An Post and the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU).

However, it may involve a guaranteed payment along with a performance-based element.

A €150 million transformation of An Post and the network is currently underway as part of the company’s strategic plan.

A report from the inter-departmental group, which was established to examine the feasibility of additional government services being provided through An Post and the post office network, will be published shortly.

Post office support

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan and the Minister of State with responsibility for postal matters, Hildegarde Naughton brought a memo to Cabinet on the new package yesterday (Tuesday, May 31).

The government measure will require an amendment to the Postal and Telecommunications Act 1983; approval for that draft legislation will be sought in due course.

Speaking from the post office in Stillorgan, Dublin, where details of the scheme were announced, Minister Hildegarde Naughton, said:

“Today’s announcement is a first-time move in the history of government, where we are now providing direct financial support to postmasters who operate much of our network.

“The duration of the support package – a three-year period – will provide certainty for postmasters and the public, enabling new commercial initiatives and services to be developed,” the minister said.

Commenting on the measure, Minister Eamon Ryan said:

“The post office has a central role in the social fabric of this country, in urban communities, and particularly in rural Ireland.

“This measure will help to ensure that people can continue to have access to important services through the post office network.

“It also underpins the government’s commitment to a network that is sufficient in scale and capacity for people to be able to access these services, no matter where they live,” Ryan concluded.