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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business

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Senator Tim Lombard

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Snippet Contents:

I raise the issue of An Post's policy of replacing post offices when a postmaster dies. There is an issue in my part of the world. Applications closed last Friday for a post office in Belgooly, County Cork. The remuneration being offered to the replacement postmaster is €27,000, and that is to open throughout lunch hour and to open five days a week. Getting somebody to fill that role or work in the community on that kind of money is totally inappropriate. Some €27,000 to cover the entire post office service in Belgooly village as well as lunchtime and holiday cover does not make financial sense.
We need to have a debate with the relevant Minister on whether cutting funding so tightly means we will no longer be able to replace postmasters, because they will not join the service on that kind of money, and on what An Post is doing at the coalface. An Post said it has an active policy of ensuring postmasters are replaced. Is that realistic, feasible or practical on that kind of money? I do not think it is. The Minister needs to come to the House for a debate on the policy going forward to ensure we have post offices in rural Ireland and not just district post offices in larger towns.
The post office in my village of Minane Bridge has closed. This is an issue. The post office is the centre of the community and we need to help, support and put more services into the post office. To do all that work, we need to pay postmasters and postmistresses an appropriate sum. Some €27,000 for working five days a week, with no holiday cover and working throughout lunch hour does not make financial sense and because of that, we are closing post offices by stealth. We need a debate and to review this policy because if we do not, we will end up with one post office in every large town and, unfortunately, smaller post offices will close.