BY SIOBHÁN CRONIN
GOLEEN TD Michael Collins has spoken out against the suggestions this week that An Post may need to close up to to close up to 80 post offices and that certain bank branches may also be under threat.
‘This is another savage attack on rural Ireland and we must resist all attempts to take away our vital rural services,’ said the independent deputy.
The report for Government on the future of post offices recommends closing 80 post offices, with the majority of these being rural post offices. ‘The Government must think of the future of rural Ireland and it must think of the some 42% of Irish people who live in rural areas,’ said Deputy Collins. ‘The closure of the rural post office will almost certainly mean the closure of the local shop, and this will have huge implications for the survival of rural communities,’ he added.
Rural post offices should not be closed, instead they should be modernised and they should be adapted to suit the changing needs of their customers, he suggested.
‘Meanwhile, Ulster Bank is planning to close up to 30 branches also mainly in rural locations. This equates to one in four of its branches.
‘This move by Ulster Bank will have a huge impact on rural towns, especially in cases where Ulster Bank is the last bank in the town,’ the Cork South West deputy told The Southern Star.