Dáil Eireann has this week adopted a Sinn Fein/Fianna Fail motion which aims to save 159 rural post offices from closure, including seventeen planned closures throughout Donegal.
Donegal Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has welcomed the acceptance of a Fianna Fáil amendment to the motion to retain the rural services.
The amendment came in two parts: 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 and to prevent the loss of Post Offices services in the 159 communities where Postmasters and Postmistresses are retiring by advertising a contract under the new PSO model.
The motion was accepted by vote, with Government TD’s voting against the motion.
Pat the Cope stated: “It is now a matter 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.
“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.”
Pat the Cope added: “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.”Tags: