The deadlines issued to rural post-masters and post-mistresses should be extended to allow them decide on redundancy packages – according the Kerry Fianna Fáil TD, John Brassil.
New contracts issued by An Post will continue to stymy development and viability of local, rural post offices – he said.
Local Communities Hit
According to Mr. Brasill, 26 rural communities in Kerry have been earmarked for closure. How that closure comes about is up to An Post and the postmasters and mistress themselves.
The local offices in the firing line includes those in: Ballymacellott; Cordal; Currow; Farranfore; Knocknagoshel; Lyracrompane and Scartaglen.
An Post Pressure
Also under pressure from An Post management are offices in: Abbeydorney; Asdee; Ballinskelligs; Ballylongford; Banemore Cross; Beaufort; Blackwater Bridge; Castlemaine; Causeway; Duagh; Glenflesk; Gneeveguilla; Headford Killarney; Kilcummin; Kilflynn; Kilmoyley; Lisselton; Mastergeehy and Moyvane.
Mr. Brassil said that the decision being foisted on 26 postmasters and postmistresses in the county could have a seismic impact on local communities and is calling for an extension to the deadline for them to make their minds up.
“An Post, in communicating with these 26 different contractors, gave a deadline of May 11th to make their decision. This is nowhere near long enough to make such an important decision for them, their families and ultimately the communities they serve.
“I am calling for An Post to extend the deadline for at least an additional four weeks to allow the postmasters and postmistresses to gather all the information needed to make an informed decision.
“What has been missed in a lot of the conversations surrounding this move by An Post is the potential for new contracts to be awarded to other people to run post services in these communities.
“However, the new contract will be considerably less attractive, and would, I believe hasten the demise of post services in these communities due to the rigid criteria being applied.
“I have been informed by many that the new contract would severely limit the ability to grow their businesses through the roll out of additional services.
Wither and Die
“The upshot of all this is a distinct attempt by An Post to either close certain post offices in the here and now and to allow others to wither and die in the short term.
“26 rural communities in our county have been earmarked for closure. How that closure comes about is up to An Post and the postmasters and mistress themselves.
Worried and Concerned
“However, the communities potentially affected are deeply worried and concerned about what the future holds for them.
“For many, the local post office with the State Harp over the door is the only visible sign of government services in the local area as their Garda stations and small schools have been shut in recent years.
“We need to stop seeing post offices as simply profit centres but as service hubs. Post offices are the life blood of rural communities.
“Fianna Fáil is clear that where there are post offices that are not financially viable but provide important and essential services to communities, there must be a government intervention in the form of a public service obligation to ensure that they remain open to the public,” concluded Mr. Brassil.
The Maine Valley Post has, is and always will be a free resource for the people of the locality and its wider diaspora. When we started in 2013, the intention was to be a weekly, online newsletter. Over time, the site has evolved into a much different beast with multiple updates on a daily basis.
Because of its nature as a digital publication, it brings with it certain expenses: computers and cameras that require updating and maintenance; internet hosting and access; to say nothing of the time and hard work that goes into the site. It all adds up…
Our online community has always been our greatest asset and a vocal supporter of the Maine Valley Post since day one.
Please take a moment to click on the link below to see how you can directly contribute to our continued growth and success. Thank you for taking the time……..John Reidy