Donegal Fianna Fáil Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill has slammed the Chief Executive of An Post for failing to provide any clarity on the reasons behind the closure of two post offices in Donegal.
An Post CEO Donal Connell was grilled by Senator Ó Domhnaill at the Oireachtas Communications Committee in Leinster House this week about the closure of Laghey and Meenlaragh Post Offices, and the future of other small post offices in Donegal and across the North West.
Speaking afterwards, Senator Ó Domhnaill said he was extremely disappointed by the serious of vague answers provided by Mr Connell to TDs and Senators at the Commitee.
“People want to know how it is that An Post decides which post offices it will close, and which it will keep open. An Post claims it shut down Laghey and Meenlaragh Post Offices because they were not ‘economically viable’. But when I questioned the Chief Executive Donal Connell about what exactly this means, he couldn’t explain. He could not provide any clarity whatsoever on how An Post judges economic viability.
“This is extremely worrying and casts further doubt over the future of a number of post offices across the North West. In my view, An Post has handled this policy very badly. In the case of Laghey and Meelaragh, they provided very little notice to the communities of the impending closures and failed to carry out adequate consultation before deciding on the closures,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.
The Donegal Senator also questioned the An Post boss about what measures the company is taking to drive new business and improve the ‘viability’ of post offices across the country.
“It makes sense for An Post to be going after new business and striving to offer new servies to the public. For instance, services such as Motor Tax could be easily available through the post office network in line with existing legislation. I asked Mr Connell what efforts are being made to secure this kind of extra business, but once again he could not provide clear answers.
“Post offices around the country serve 1.7 million customers every week and are the heart of so many smaller communities. It is crucial that An Post continues to look at new ways to boost its business and ensure that it can keep the doors of community post offices open. A vague and non-committal approach is not good enough. I am urging the company to step up efforts to protect the post office network.”
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