Plan 'a nail in coffin for rural post offices'
AN Post is to introduce a series of postal services in delivery depots across the country in a move that has been described as a "fresh threat" to the post office network.
The Irish Independent has learned of plans by the company to put in place stamp and parcel services in over 20 such depots in the coming months.
An Post says it is specifically targeting depots based in business parks where there is a concentration of business customers and parking facilities.
A spokesperson said the move is part of its bid to tap into the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector.
An Post has already piloted the selling of services in these depots, known as Delivery Service Units (DSUs) in five areas including Gorey, Tallaght and Sligo.
It's understood that management has decided to increase the number of depots in the coming months and has not ruled out introducing the services in each depot across the country.
But Independent TD Michael Healy Rae said such a move represents another "nail in the coffin" of rural post offices.
"I believe it is completely the wrong approach," he said.