Thursday 25 December 2014

IPU: Future of post offices should not be turned into "political football"

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 06/03/2014 | 16:32

Eirinn Ryan 10 from Rush during a protest outside the Dail by members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union earlier in the year.
Eirinn Ryan 10 from Rush during a protest outside the Dail by members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union earlier in the year.

THE Irish Postermasters' Union (IPU) has today said it does not want the future of post offices being turned into a "political football" ahead of the local and European elections.

The union was responding to reports of tensions between Labour and Fine Gael after the junior coalition claimed it was being blamed over the threatened closure of hundreds of post offices.

It was revealed last week that Labour was left furious after Fine Gael sent out a press release which urged its TDs and senators to target Communications Minister Rabbitte over the potential closure of post offices.

However, the IPU today heaped praise on Mr Rabbitte and fellow Labour Minister Joan Burton, describing them as being "hugely helpful" in dealing with issues surrounding post offices.

IPU General Secretary Brian McGann said the future of post offices must not be turned into a "political football".

“We do not wish to see the future of the Post Office network become a political football in the run up to the local and European elections,” he said.

Mr McGann also welcomed an invitation by Minister Rabbitte to hold talks on the future of the post office network.

His comments come just weeks after the publication of a report by Grant Thornton which predicts that close to 600 post offices face closure by 2017.

The report warned that there would be mass closures, particularly in rural Ireland, if the Post Office network loses its lucrative social welfare contract.

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