Independent TD Mattie McGrath has launched a scathing attack on leaked proposals to close 112 rural Post Offices that includes the post offices in the Tipperary locations of Ballingarry, Templetouhy, Gortnahoe, Littleton and Clogheen. Deputy McGrath went on to say that the closures which are part of the agreement reached between The Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) and An Post is just another aspect of the unembarrassed contempt for rural Ireland that is poisoning all levels of central government policy:
“In April of this year the IPU hyped up the outcome of its negotiations with An Post, an outcome that was allegedly all about maintaining the delivery of local post office services throughout the state.
Today we know that those words were absolutely meaningless.
That so called agreement included a €50m investment in the Post Office Network and negotiated redundancy settlements and was sold as snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.
Well if success involves the closure of five Tipperary post offices, then it is clear that the IPU have been totally outmanoeuvred.
Investment in the Network should have been a given and not a concession that had to be dragged kicking and screaming from the top brass in an Post and in the Department.
The same can be said of the retirement or redundancy packages. Everyone who has given a lifetime of service as post masters and mistresses have should be entitled to those by right and again, not as some concession that could be denied.
It looks very much like the IPU were suckered into signing their own member’s death warrants, a move that is being facilitated by the refusal to comprehensively transfer services to existing rural post offices.
If you cut off the oxygen supply of services from any business then it is only a matter time before a voluntary surrender occurs.
That is what seems to be happening here. The government and An Post have been cutting off the oxygen supply for years while at the same time they want to blame rural communities for not using their post office.
Ultimately however, this list of proposed closures is a damning indictment of the utter ruthlessness that kicks in when it comes to rural Ireland.
It demonstrates yet again, that the effect of their policies is ultimately to have us on our knees begging for services; services that should be ours by right,” concluded Deputy McGrath.