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Post Office Network (Continued)

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 830 No. 3

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(Speaker Continuing)

[Deputy Paul J. Connaughton: Information on Paul Connaughton Zoom on Paul Connaughton] Surely this is a situation on which An Post can capitalise. Instead of removing services from rural areas, it should provide even more services or restore those that were previously available.

In the instance to which I refer, there is a family member who is willing to take on the post office in Barnaderg as a going concern. The business has been viable during the entirety of its existence. There should be no need for consultation in respect of this matter. It is a different story in circumstances where, as previously stated, no one wants to take up a post office licence. That is simply not the case in this instance. All of the people in Barnaderg and Killererin to whom I have spoken want the post office to be retained and they want to ensure that the full range of services will continue to be offered there. I have no doubt that the local community will row in behind the post office more than ever before if it is retained. It is important that An Post takes this issue seriously and ensures that Barnaderg post office remains open.

On a general point, I am of the view that the consultation period should be longer and that more detailed information should be provided to local communities in respect of what they are expected to bring to the process in order that they might put forward the best case possible for the retention of their local post offices. Many things have already disappeared from rural areas. It will be very sad indeed if post offices start to disappear as well, particularly as they are essential to the integrity of all our communities. I want to ensure that post offices which are viable will be retained.

Deputy Fergus O'Dowd: Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd I assure the Deputy that I will bring his comments to the attention of the Minister and the Department. I fully appreciate his concerns with regard to the people who live in the Barnaderg area of his constituency and the threat to their local post office.

  The Dáil adjourned at 5.20 p.m. until 2.30 p.m. on Tuesday, 18 February 2014.

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