There are warnings that more Post Offices in Clare and across the country will have to shut their doors, unless a 17 million euro annual deficit can be bridged.
A new independent report has found the Post Office network is in danger of collapsing without government assistance, and warns that urgent action is needed.
Grant Thornton’s report into Post Office finances has issued a stark warning that if action isn’t taken within months, the network faces “significant levels of unrestrained closures by the end of 2021”.
The report, which was commissioned by the Irish Postmasters Union and largely uses data from before the pandemic, says the network is at a critical juncture and that it’s financial situation is not sustainable once subvention from An Post comes to an end.
That will occur from next July, and the report warns that many large and small local Post Offices in both urban and rural areas will face closure unless government steps in and provides 17 million euro a year to bridge the shortfall.
IPU General Secretary, Ned O’Hara insists the network is worth the investment.
Ennistymon’s Postmaster says transaction volumes in post offices have seen a dramatic decline over recent years, with the pandemic exasperating matters further.
Shane Talty, who’s also a local Fianna Fáil Councillor, agrees that intervention is needed in order to support the social value of the supporting network.
He believes this year’s pandemic highlighted its importance.
Responding to the findings, An Post says it recognises the decline in footfall and incomes during Covid-19 and its’ working with government to address the issues.