An election candidate for the Community and Post Office group has vowed to protect local communities and services if she is elected.
Galway postmistress Seona O'Fegan is among eight candidates across the country set to contest the general election for the group.
She said as a postmistress she hears daily the concerns of people and saw the need for greater Government support to allow people access essential services locally.
Ms O'Fegan said post offices were key to developing better community services.
"Current Government policy is forcing customers to the commercial banks and will lead to major Post Office closures. We know that when a Post Office closes - it is followed by further local business closures and the heart is torn out of the community," she added.
However, she stressed that if elected, she would not focus solely on post offices and would also work for communities in areas of schools, health services, transport and jobs.