Rural TDs to launch Dáil motion aimed at safeguarding post office network

The technical group says that action is needed now to protect the rural way of life

Rural TDs to launch Dáil motion aimed at safeguarding post office network

Image: RollingNews.ie

Rural TDs will launch a Dáil motion aimed at safeguarding the post office network today.

The technical group is giving the Government three months to implement a new action plan.

It is also calling on the Government create a new community banking system, citing models that have already been established in New Zealand and Germany.

They say Postmasters provide a vital service and that action is needed now to protect the rural way of life.

The TDs say the Government should establish "a working group to identify the potential for local post offices to act as hubs to facilitate other services such as health, transport, agriculture, etc... and to act as a one-stop-shop for Government services".

It comes after the Programme for Government included plans to revitalise the post office network.

Earlier this year, the Government also published the final version of the Kerr report on the future of post offices.

Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae is one of those behind the new motion.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Deputy Healy-Rae explained: "What we have to do is look at what happened around the world and then follow on and learn from that.

"In New Zealand they were facing the exact same crisis as what we are at present. They brought in a community banking system [...] It has, in itself, saved their rural post offices. I know we can do this in Ireland."

On the subject of the Kerr report, Deputy Healy-Rae argued: "If you think that's what's contained in the report is enough, it won't in itself. But working in conjunction - and hopefully the motion will be passed by the Dáil - that will."