‘Urgent action’ needed to save more rural Kilkenny post offices from closure
Efforts by a Kilkenny TD to save rural Post Offices across the county from closure has received cross-party support.
Local Sinn Féin Deputy Kathleen Funchion has been calling for the introduction of a Public Service Obligation (PSO) to secure the future of our post office network and prevent further rural post office closures in Kilkenny.
A PSO is a levy the government charge on certain services to ensure the availability of that service nationally.
The introduction of an An Post PSO has been advocated by the Irish Postmaster’s Union (IPU) for a decade. Now the Government has indicated it will support the move.
Speaking about the PSO and its implications for rural Kilkenny, Deputy Funchion said: “Since 2018, more than 200 post offices have closed nationwide. In Kilkenny these closures included Glenmore, Kilmoganny and Mullinavat (pictured).
“The postal service has been blighted by closures and hobbled by cutbacks. We need urgent action and significant investment from the Government if we don’t want further closures.
“Sinn Féin fully supports the call of the Irish Postmasters’ Union for a PSO and we have been advocating for this for over a decade.
“Notably, Fianna Fáil also supported a PSO when in opposition and spoke in favour of it during a Dáil debate on a Sinn Féin motion in 2018.
“People who rely on their post offices were watching intently to see if they did what they promised and fortunately, Fianna Fáil supported the Sinn Féin amendments.
“Without support of the PSO, the State faces significant levels of unrestrained closures according to a report by Grant Thornton commissioned by the Irish Postmasters’ Union.
“Simply calling on the government is not enough. Now we need to follow this commitment up with action. Without urgent action we’ll see more closures,” Deputy Fuchion added.