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14th May 2019 | Community, Press Releases

Green Party calls for an end to any further rural post office closures

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The Green Party joins its North Clare election candidate Róisín Garvey in calling for an end to the closure of rural post offices across Ireland. This call follows a warning by the Irish Postmasters Union who claims up to 300 post offices could be forced to close throughout the country in the coming months, including branches in Co. Clare where candidate Róisín Garvey is based.

Last year the Irish Postmasters Union struck a deal with An Post to provide the introduction of public services such as car tax, drivers’ licenses and Leap cards. Part of the deal has also led to the introduction of financial services like credit cards and loans. While the financial services are now up and running, the introduction of public government services hasn’t happened. The Green Party asks An Post to commit to fast-tracking the introduction of these services so that post offices in rural Ireland can once again become the centre of their communities and serve citizens’ needs.

“We can’t stand by and do nothing about the continual dismantling of vital services in rural Ireland. Already we’ve seen so many post offices, Garda stations, shops and pubs close down. It takes more than just houses and cars to make a living vibrant community. Post offices are essential to the lifeblood of life in Clare and we need to protect them.” says Garvey, pointing to the closure of post offices in places like Fanore, Kilfenora and Doonbeg and Craggagh on County Clare as having had a detrimental impact on older people who can’t always travel to neighbouring towns because of poor public transport services.

“Neglecting rural communities’ needs by shutting post offices goes against the overall desires of the Green Party and rural constituents. Post offices provide jobs, offer vital services and should remain vibrant hubs for the community. To close any more post offices is telling rural communities their needs don’t matter as much as the bottom line.”

The Green Party believes that people should feel a sense of security and solidarity with those around them and that they have a significant role to play in their community. In their 2019 Local Election Manifesto, the Green Party is calling for the restorations of Town Councils that encompass the rural hinterland of each town as another effective means to strengthen rural communities.