Government confirms limit on ‘post and pay’ shops pilot
The Government has confirmed that the number of supermarket “post and pay” pilot outlets will be limited to ten sites.
Several such outlets have opened as part of a pilot project.
It was revealed that six more outlets were due to open in other locations.
Four have already opened in supermarkets and offer similar services to post offices.
The outlets were recently opened in Tesco stores in Cabra, Co Dublin; Naas, Co Kildare; Gorey, Co Wexford; and Tullamore, Co Offaly, and were launched under a partnership between An Post and Tesco.
However, staff in the new shops won't be vetted or bound by the Official Secrets Act.
At a meeting between the Irish Postmasters' Union (IPU) and Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, Mr Rabbitte also advised the union that he would be receiving a report on the pilot in due course.
An Post is also in talks with Dunnes and SuperValu, which prompted fears for the future of 500 post offices countrywide.
IPU general secretary Brian McGann said that the union welcomed the clarification and would seek further clarification on the matter during a meeting with An Post later this week.
The Department of Communications did not comment following the meeting last night.
The union, which earlier claimed that the outlets would destroy post offices, is proposing a fully fledged banking service in post offices as a means to overcome a plan to move all social welfare payments online by 2017.
Welfare payments currently make up 30pc of all post-office business, while 50pc of all such transactions still take place over the counter.