Johnny Mythen TD has spoken in the Dáil in support of rural post offices, highlighting their potential to expand and support Wexford communities.
Speaking after the debate, Teachta Mythen said: “Over the last 6 months of Covid-19, rural post offices have through cards, parcels and letters, and by simply having a chat with staff and neighbours, have kept many otherwise isolated country people going.
“In many villages in Wexford, the local post office was the very first build in the parish after the church. Country life is a different way of life.
“The successive failures of governments to support An Post in rural communities has harmed local parishes across this island.
“A recent report showed that nationally, in 2006, there was 1361 Post offices, compared with the current level of 944.
“There are 52 Post offices in Wexford, to service just under 150,000 people. 75% of this population are living in what are deemed ‘rural’ districts or areas.
“Besides being an antidote to loneliness the rural post office is also an antidote to digital isolation.
“During the debate I urged the minister to ensure is citizens who are not online are given a guarantee that this government will fund rural post offices and expand services to include offline access such as motor tax and access to retrofitting grants and information.
“I also argued that the government must introduce a public service obligation to guarantee the current post office network.
“Now is the opportunity for this government to show its sincerity in backing rural Ireland, in backing communities and in backing An Post and rural post offices.”