West bears the brunt of 159 post office closures

An Post has published the location of 159 post offices where the serving postmaster has opted to retire leading to the closures of these branches.

This was arranged under the historic agreement concluded between An Post and the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU), and the neighbouring offices to where business will transfer, boosting their transaction levels and viability.

This agreement was underpinned by ‘A New Vision for the Future of the Post Office Services in Ireland’, accepted by a five-to-one majority in a ballot of IPU members earlier this year.

In a county-by-county breakdown, the western half of the country endured the brunt of the closures, with Galway experiencing 18 closures, and Donegal in a close second with 17 postmasters opting to close up shop.

Kerry saw 12 closures, while Mayo will see 12 shut offices shut their doors under the initiative.

Elsewhere, Cork has 12 post offices listed for closure, and Wexford will lose 11 offices.

Post office closures in other counties have stayed in single-digit figures.

According to An Post, offices in locations where postmasters are opting to retire will close and the services will be consolidated with neighbouring offices ensuring their continued viability.

A total of 16 such post offices have already closed at the request of the retiring contractor.

The full list of locations in which postmasters are retiring, and their neighbouring post offices, is available here.

Enhanced services

An Post has assured that all remaining post offices will benefit from enhanced services and products, new opening hours and an investment package aimed at improving services for customers, driving customer footfall and attracting a wider demographic to ensure that the post office is not just wanted by communities but is relevant and actually used by all.

Debbie Byrne, managing director of An Post Retail, thanked the postmasters who have chosen to retire for their great service to An Post and local communities over many years.

She also said that An Post was committed to ensuring the sustainability and viability of the post office network and would move now to offer more new and innovative services to customers through the reconfigured network.

“An Post is very grateful for the contribution of the postmasters over so many years,” she said.

“We will work with the communities that they have served to ensure that their needs continue to be met by An Post for the future.”

The newly configured Post Office network is focused on three areas to enhance its relevance and appeal:
  • e-commerce;
  • Community financial services;
  • Government services.

Post offices becoming the backbone of e-commerce will see them offering the “full range of parcel and mail services” including out-of-hours collections, returns, tracking and redirection, according to An Post.

Community financial services will involve diversifying and growing financial services products for individuals and SMEs to include loans, credit cards and more foreign exchange products.

It will also include local banking in association with the major banks and a full range of state savings products in more locations nationwide than any other organisation.

Post offices becoming “one-stop-shop” for government services will see offices extending the range of local and central government services including licensing, payments for local authorities, fines and planning applications, digital ID and authorisations.

Details of An Post’s decisions on future local Post Office services, including social welfare payment arrangements, will be posted in each of the listed offices within the next two weeks.