Carlow/Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion
Carlow/Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion has welcomed news the Government has accepted Sinn Féin amendments to a Seanad motion on the future of An Post.
The Sinn Féin amendments called on the Government to introduce a Public Service Obligation (PSO) to secure the future of the post office network and prevent further post office closures.
Deputy Funchion said that since 2018, more than 200 post offices have closed nationwide. "In Carlow these closures included Crettyard and Rathtoe," she said.
“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."
She said Sinn Féin fully supports the call of the Irish Postmasters’ Union for a PSO and has 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," she said.
“However, support for a PSO was conspicuously absent from yesterday’s Seanad motion brought by the Fianna Fáil. It would have been completely hypocritical to call for a PSO and then drop support for it once in Government.
“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,"