A West Clare post mistress says she’s ‘bewildered’ by the government’s €30 million loan to An Post – and doesn’t believe it’ll save the network.
Communications Minister Denis Naughten insists the five-year loan will ensure rural post offices survive and force An Post to modernise.
However, it has been labelled a jobs loss announcement by Clare’s Fianna Fáil TD.
Clare FM’s James Mulhall reports:
An Post is projected to lose 61 million euro this year if no action is taken to secure its viability.
The government insists the five year, €30 million loan will play a part in saving the network – and help rural branches stay open.
€15 million of the loan will be pumped directly into post offices and post masters who don’t modernise their services won’t have their contracts renewed.
Communications Minister Denis Naughten insists An Post needs to increase the number of services on offer and look for innovative ways to future proof the business.
Talks are set to take place between the Department of Communications and Postmasters on how to secure the future of the network with the loan.
However, the response to the announcement hasn’t been positive in Clare.
Fianna Fáil’s Timmy Dooley is his party’s spokesperson on communications – he insists this is a short term solution to a long term problem and won’t do what the Minister says it will.
The announcement comes a full year after a Private Member’s Bill passed in November 2016, which acknowledged the importance of the network and called for action to save it.
Quilty postmistress Beatrice O’Riordan says the government is ignoring the advice of people on the ground.