A COUNTY Wexford postmistress has declared herself a candidate in the upcoming General Election.
'I will be asking the people of Wexford to vote to save their post offices and keep their local communities alive,' said Caroline Foxe, who has served as postmistress in Foulkesmills for the last seven years and has worked in the Post Office for 14 years.
She said she had decided to make a stand as a post office and community candidate to work on all community issues in Wexford. So far nine 'post office' candidates have declared throughout the State.
'I live and work in this constituency and through my work as a post mistress, I listen to and discuss the daily needs and concerns of people. What I hear all too often is the need for greater government support to restore our once vibrant communities, so that people can access the essential services they require and can do their day to day business.
'We are socially dependent on one another and we need social contact in our lives. We need to take responsibility for our own lives and our own communities.
Caroline is married, has one daughter and has lived in the parish of Clongeen all her life. She describes herself as a community activist and has served on numerous local committees over the years.
She said the current threat to post offices is a result of government policy encouraging people to receive Social Protection Payments by electronic means through other financial Institutions rather than a transaction at the post office, while simultaneously not investing in an electronic banking option at post offices.
'When a Post Office closes it is followed by other local business closures and the heart is torn out of the community.'
She said that as outlined in the Irish Postmaster's Union's Six Point Plan to sustain the Post Office Network and support local communities, the network needs to be recognised as a national asset, by making the Post Office the provider of choice for all government services.