By Kieran O’Mahony
AN POST has ‘sat on its laurels’ and now the services it offers are not broad enough to generate new business, a meeting in Dunmanway was told on Monday night.
Organised by Cork South West TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony (FF), the public meeting on the future of local post offices, in the Parkway Hotel, was well attended by postmasters from across the West Cork region.
Deputy Murphy O’Mahony told the attendees that she and Deputy Timmy Dooley, Fianna Fáil spokesperson on communications, are part of a working group set up to form policy to look at how to secure and protect the future of the post office network.
‘Having worked in Bandon Post Office I’m fully aware of how important they are in rural areas and it is imperative to get the message out that if we don’t use it, we will lose it,’ said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.
Fianna Fáil spokesperson for communications Timmy Dooley said that some State support is needed for the survival of post offices.
‘We can’t give up on rural Ireland and we can’t give up on the people who use the services. If we, as a party, can get a policy document on the future of them, then we can have a shot at it,’ said Deputy Dooley. ‘We must also look at how we can remunerate the postmaster,’ he added.
Paddy O’Shea of the Irish Postmasters Union reiterated that the government must back post offices and if they don’t, they will die. ‘Whatever policy ye come up with, please give us government services to survive,’ said Paddy.
The fact that the postmaster’s income is based on the number of transactions was highlighted at the meeting, with several postmasters saying it is difficult to make a living from a post office.