Fine Gael TD for Kildare South, Martin Heydon, has today emphasised the need for a sustainable post office network that serves the needs of local communities.  Deputy Heydon was speaking after the Fine Gael Internal Communications Committee met this week with members of the Irish Postmaster’s Union (IPU)

“Fine Gael actively sought this meeting with the IPU in order to listen to the group’s concerns about the future viability of the An Post network. Fine Gael is fully committed to a strong and viable An Post and we recognise the hugely important role post offices play in local communities, particularly in rural areas.

“Having invested in the computerisation of all post offices, the network is well positioned to become the front office provider of a range of services. An Post has made positive progress in diversifying its network, through deals with AIB and Aviva Ireland. It also secured a deal to process local property tax payments.”

“The Government is committed to a strong and viable An Post and supports its maintenance of the maximum number of economically viable post offices, ensuring that Irish customers, both business and residential, enjoy competitively high quality postal services. The Postmaster Union and An Post are two entities which need to come together to find an agreement that will ultimately secure the long-term success of both organisations.

“Flexibility and innovation is key to the future of our post offices. AIB have a partnership with An Post so customers of AIB who can’t make it to an AIB branch, can carry out many of their personal and business transactions at their local post office, even on a Saturday morning. Bank of Ireland have had similar arrangements with the UK Post Office and it would be good to see similar partnerships in Ireland.

“Fine Gael TDs had a very constructive meeting with members of the IPU, who outlined their concerns in detail. I will continue to actively engage with members of the post office network, and I will be urging Minister Rabbitte to address the various concerns surrounding the future of the network.

“It is essential that postal services are retained through a national network, so it can continue to provide an essential service to local communities.”