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Saturday 21 October 2017

An Post chief says '256 post offices are not located near anyone' as closures loom

Too many post offices: Chief executive David McRedmond
Too many post offices: Chief executive David McRedmond
Members and supporters of the Irish Postmasters Union at the Taoiseach’s constituency office in Castlebar. Photo: Keith Heneghan/Phocus
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Almost 300 Post Offices are at risk An Post has indicated.

Speaking on RTÉ's Prime Time, Chief Executive of An Post, David McRedmond said 265 post officers are "near no discernible area of population".

"We have to be real and we have to grasp these things," he said.

An Post have yet to state how many Post Offices are at risk of closure and when asked if the 265 branches could be written off as a "starting point" Mr McRedmond again refused to be dawn on an exact number.

An Post management cannot be allowed to wash their hands of half the network. Photo: Doug O'Connor
An Post management cannot be allowed to wash their hands of half the network. Photo: Doug O'Connor

"I would never start off like that but certainly there will be a significant number," he said.

"If we don't really make the changes that are needed for the future... then the whole system will collapse," he said.

Mr McRedmond said that at the moment the majority of the population lives within 15km of five post offices.

The department set target is that everyone in the country would live within 15km of a post office.

"Our job is to make sure that what we are putting in place.. is actually a professional retail network," Mr McRedmond said.

The change coming down the line for An Post will mean "difficult decisions and difficult discussions" he added.

Meanwhile, earlier on Tuesday around 150 people, mainly post office operators, staged a protest outside the constituency office of Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

The protest, organised by the Irish Postmasters' Union, lasted for about an hour and concluded with a letter being handed in calling on Mr Kenny to act decisively.

Sean Martin, treasurer of the IPU, said closing potentially 600 post offices, out of about 1,100 would "decimate" rural Ireland.

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