Closure of post offices will shatter rural Mayo communities

Local Fianna Fáil TD, Lisa Chambers has said that the closure of 11 post offices in Mayo, including two in Claremorris and two more in Ballinrobe, will shatter those living in these rural communities

Deputy Chambers was commenting this week following confirmation from An Post that 11 of the 159 announced post office closures nationwide are in Mayo.

“The importance of post offices to both the local economy and to the social wellbeing of communities cannot be overstated. Post offices are the nucleus of our small villages and towns,” said Chambers.

“Viewing post offices as simple financial units ignores the important work of post office staff in dealing with the isolation of rural citizens, especially older and vulnerable citizens. Those working in these post offices are sadly all too often the only personal contact an older person has from one week to the next.

“The last Fine Gael Government actively sought to diminish the viability of post offices by campaigning to get pensioners to switch from collecting to pension in person in the post office to having it deposited into their bank account.

“Fianna Fáil has a plan to protect these post offices; we are calling on the Government to initiate a Public Service Obligation (PSO) payment to at-risk post offices to keep them viable.
“Our motion published this week also calls for the contract tender to run these post offices be advertised to allow other interested businesses apply to take over theii operation.

“Closing these post offices will jeopardise the viability of these small, isolated communities and we owe it to those living in them to not shut down their last remaining State service,” she concluded.