A small bit of imagination could help save post offices – Ferris
Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris has said that the post office network must be protected as an integral part of local communities. He said a small bit of imagination could help achieve this.
Deputy Ferris said:
“The post office network is part of the fabric of many communities, especially in rural areas. Therefore it should been seen as a vital part of the campaign to hold our local communities together.
“The closure of schools, Garda stations and local businesses has resulted in a reduction in infrastructure and identity for communities. The loss of these services, coupled with emigration, has meant that the heart has been ripped out of many communities.
“There are many areas of the country that rely on access to their local post office to carry out many of the functions of daily life. These are often parts of the country that have very poor broadband connection and do not have the ability to utilise online services.
“The Oireachtas Transport and Communications Committee, drafted a report on the future of the post office network which highlighted a number of recommendations including the need for An Post to introduce an ‘amber light’ warning system if a post office is about to close to allow communities to react.
“Social protection payments are clearly an integral part of the services provided by the post office network. There is an imperative on government to work with An Post to create a business model that will allow the post office network to survive.
“As part of our Rural Ireland Report, Sinn Féin identified that between 2004 and 2008, 344 post offices were closed and many more were downgraded. We also identified that there were a number of facilities that the post office network could take up including motor tax renewals, business rates and other Government services.
“It’s time that some imagination was shown instead of just delivering another hammer blow to rural communities,” said Deputy Ferris.
Deadline Fast Approaching For 2014 Sports Capital Programme.
Labour Senator Marie Moloney, wishes to remind local clubs and sporting organisations that the closing date for funding under the 2014 Sports Capital Programme is fast approaching.
The 2014 round of sports capital funding will allocate €40million to local sports clubs to improve and develop facilities such as changing rooms, pitches and floodlights, as well as providing funding for regional facilities.
“The application process for grants has changed, and is now carried out through a new online registration system.
“Clubs and sporting organisations had to register online by the 07th of February, however, the deadline for completed applications is February 28th. Clubs and sporting organisations should ensure that their application is completed by this date”.
For Further Information contact Senator Moloney on 086 3049422 or 064 66 32034