An Post says 12 post offices to shut down in coming days

Irish Postmasters Union criticises release of list and says people should be respected if they want to retire

An Post has announced it will  be closing 161 post offices as part of a voluntary retirement scheme. The closures will reduce the post office network from 1,111 outlets to 950

An Post has announced it will be closing 161 post offices as part of a voluntary retirement scheme. The closures will reduce the post office network from 1,111 outlets to 950

 

Twelve post offices are to shut down in the coming days, An Post has said.

The postal company announced on Thursday that it would be closing 161 post offices as part of a voluntary retirement scheme. The closures will reduce the post office network from 1,111 outlets to 950.

Postmasters who lose their jobs will receive a retirement package worth an average of €50,000. And where postmasters requested immediate retirement, branches will close in the coming days, the company has said.

These will include Quigley’s Point, Church Hill and Ballymagan in Donegal; Aghacashel and Aughavas in Leitrim;, Ballindine in Mayo; and Desertserges and Shanballymore in Co Cork. The remaining four have yet to be named.

Ciarán McEntee, vice-president of the Irish Postmasters Union (IPU), has criticised the release of a list of post offices facing closures.

“It is very unfair that people have been named. Everybody knew that there was a deal being done between An Post and the IPU. This has annoyed a lot of people who have put their names in to retire. These are decent people who gave 40 or 50 years to the post office.”

He said a lot of politicians were now jumping on the bandwagon, but they knew this was happening. “Everybody knew it was coming down the line. The politicians trying to make a big thing of it are only annoying people, putting their names out there. They want to retire with dignity after giving up to 50 years to the post office.”

He said people were upset. “There is change happening, and they should be respected if they want to retire.”

Politicians

Mr McEntee also said if you asked a lot of politicians when they were in a post office last, “they wouldn’t have been in too often, some of them”.

Separately on Friday, Conradh na Gaeilge held a demonstration outside the GPO in Dublin to protest against the closures. Dr Niall Comer, president of the organisation which promotes the Irish language, said An Post must ensure that the current redundancy process being implemented by it would not mean that post offices in Gaeltacht areas would be closed.

“The State is obligated to provide a postal service to Gaeltacht communities, and we are seeking an urgent meeting with An Post, with the Minister for Communications and with the Minister for the Gaeltacht to ensure that these obligations will be fulfilled.”