Post office closures ‘final nail in the coffin’ of rural communities

An Post’s decision to go ahead with post office closures will be the “final nail in the coffin of rural communities”, according to Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Earlier in 2018, almost 400 post offices around the country were offered exit packages by An Post, resulting in some 160 post masters and mistresses retiring.

Yesterday, December 4, Fitzmaurice said that the Government is “running out of things to close”, responding to several issues faced by rural communities.

When it comes to rural Ireland – between railways, pubs, Garda stations and post offices – [the Government] is running out of things to close; and in the case of broadband, it appears to be incapable of building anything.

Fitzmaurice claimed that An Post has “hugely underestimated” the importance of post offices in rural communities.

“In many cases, these post offices provided businesses in their locality with a lifeline which allowed them to grow and prosper,” said the Roscommon-Galway TD, adding that: “The services available also allowed people living in the area to conduct their business close to home.”

Fitzmaurice also argued that the closure of post offices will have a detrimental knock-on affect for businesses in those areas.

“Businesses – such as shops and pubs, which are struggling to survive as it is – which avail of the services provided by their local post offices, may also be forced to consider closing in the wake of losing their nearest outlet,” he said.

“If the services available in rural parts of the country continue to be cut at the current rate, there will be nothing left in just a few short years,” he warned.