Healy Rae hits out at postal plan

Postmasters in Kerry have broadly welcomed the Government's new €30 million investment package in the embattled Post Office network, but at least one among their number is not happy with it - Kilgarvan postmaster and Independent TD Michael Healy Rae.

Ventry postmaster and spokesperson for the South West branch of the Irish Postmasters' Union Seamus Ó Lúing welcomed the new package but insisted the funds will have to go to protecting and securing the postal network rather than being used to shore up other problems faced by An Post, if it is to have the desired effect.

But Michael Healy Rae hit out at the entire scheme describing it as a 'subsidy' that fails to address the systemic pressures being faced by the service, particularly keenly in rural Ireland.

"This is exactly what I told the Government we don't want. We don't need or want another subsidy. We want exactly what is contained within the private members' bill that was brought before the Dáil last week setting out proposals for measures like community banking and other services that would allow us to work effectively. We never asked for the €30 million but for the change in structure needed to address the problems."

Mr Ó Lúing meanwhile said the IPU is keen to see the specifics of the investment and the timeline for its implementation: "What is important is that a significant portion of this money goes to protecting and securing the Post Office Network and does not get consumed in addressing other problems faced by An Post. Postmasters will now focus on working with the Minister and An Post to translate the investment into benefits for Post Offices."