Teachta Tully said:
“Last year the Irish Postmasters’ Union commissioned a report that recommended a Public Service Obligation (PSO) be introduced to secure the future of the network and allow post offices to continue to provide excellent services, which are particularly important in rural Ireland.
“Sinn Féin fully support this call. In fact, we have been advocating for a PSO to secure the future of the network for over a decade now.
“Post offices provide a crucial service, particularly in rural Ireland, and with two major banks now closing hundreds more branches, people in rural Ireland will become even more reliant on their local post office.
“The 2016 Kerr Report made a number of important recommendations in relation to the future viability of the post office network, including increasing the financial and government services available.
“In addition, An Post’s ‘Green Hub’, a one-stop shop for people looking to access energy efficiency grants and funding, has potential for growth in local post offices.
“While additional banking services are on the horizon, on their own they will not be enough.
“The Irish Postmasters’ Union say that the day of reckoning has arrived for the Post Office Network, and if funding is not provided before the summer, significant closures will soon follow.
“During a debate on a Sinn Féin motion on post offices in 2018, Fianna Fáil called for a PSO to be introduced.
“This commitment must now be delivered upon, before the post office’s transformation payments end this June. That cliff-edge is fast approaching.”