Postmasters today welcomed the announcement of a €30m government investment plan in the Post Office Network, which will help to keep Post Offices open and bring additional government services to communities.
The Irish Postmasters Union (IPU) said the announcement made by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten was positive for communities – and called for implementation to begin immediately.
The announcement follows more than two years of negotiations which have involved two Reports from Bobby Kerr, intensive talks between Postmasters and An Post and ongoing engagement with numerous Government Ministers and Departments.
IPU Executive member and Western spokesperson Pádraig McNamara said it has been a long and difficult journey for Postmasters who have continually highlighted the social and community importance of Post Offices and carried strong public support.
“We welcome Minister Naughten’s announcement today. The IPU is now keen to see the specific details of the investment and the timeline for its implementation. What is important is that a significant portion of this money goes to protecting and securing the Post Office Network and does not get consumed in addressing other problems faced by An Post," he said.
“Postmasters will now focus on working with the Minister and An Post to translate the investment into tangible benefits for Post Offices as quickly possible. We are grateful to Bobby Kerr for the role he played in the early stage of this negotiation in producing two important reports.
“Postmasters want to get this investment and the promised new services into Post Offices’ offering to the public quickly, including developing the Post Office as a digital gateway for Government business which Minister Naughten has announced.
“The IPU is committed to working with Government and An Post to develop the network and keep as many Post Offices as possible serving communities across the country,” he said.
In late 2015 the IPU presented a half a million public signatures to Government calling for investment in the Post Office Network.