Pat the 'Cope' Gallagher
The Leas Cheann Comhairle, Deputy Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher, has welcomed the recent vote by Dáil Eireann to accept the Fianna Fáil amendment to prevent the closure of the 159 Post Offices which is currently being proposed by An Post management and the Government.
He added the Fianna Fáil amendment came in two parts: “Firstly we asked that the Government guarantee the current post office network to ensure all citizens have access to their important services by introducing a new Public Service Obligation model.
“Secondly, we requested to prevent the loss of Post Offices services in the 159 communities where Post masters and Postmistresses are retiring by advertising a contract under the new PSO model. The motion was accepted by vote with the Government TD’s voting against our motion.”
Pat ‘the Cope’ said that the matter is now for the Government to accept the will of the Dáil and take the appropriate action to prevent the removal of these critically important services across our rural communities.
He said: “I would expect the Government to immediately review the current Post Offices which are on the closure lists and set a timeline whereby they can be advertised under a new PSO model which will guarantee their long-term survival.
“The PSO will cost the state an additional €8 million per annum to guarantee the entire Post Office network as currently constituted, but in the context of other PSO commitments for airports or the transport PSO - the real terms cost of the Post Office PSO is both reasonable and value for money.”
He said that the Government must now listen to the thousands of people who made their sentiments known in relation the service.
“The Government now must listen to the will of the Dáil and to the many thousands of people who have expressed their opposition to these post office closures right throughout the country.
“I am expecting the Government take immediate action and reassure our rural communities that there is a future for the Post Office network through the PSO model which is adopted by majority vote of the Dáil.”