“IPU appear to have no real sense of the long term impact of Post Office closures deal” Mattie McGrath

by admin on 20/09/2018

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has responded to criticism from the General Secretary of the Irish Postmasters Union (IPU) Ned O’Hara. Mr O’ Hara has accused opponents of the plan to close 159 post offices of engaging in what he termed ‘misleading’ and distracting tactics that have attempted to ‘simplify’ the challenges the network is facing:

“The statement issued by the IPU and Mr O’Hara is perhaps one of the most disingenuous and patronising statements I have read over the course of this entire campaign.

What is deeply ironic is the fact that Mr’ O’Hara, as the General Secretary of the IPU is clearly engaged in the kind of tactics he is condemning in his opponents.

For instance he focuses entirely on our proposal to introduce a local community banking model as apparent proof that we are not aware of the complexities involving in sustaining a thriving post office network.

Yet almost two years ago, I and my colleagues in the Rural Independent Group received unanimous Dáil support for measures to  ensure that all potential business activities previously identified by Grant Thornton, the former Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications and the Post Office Network Business Development Group be implemented.

We also demanded that the government establish a working group to identify the potential for local post offices to act as hubs to facilitate other services such as health, transport, agriculture, etc., and to act as a one-stop-shop for Government services as committed to in the Programme for a Partnership Government

Most importantly we sought to ensure that a five-year holding plan would be put in place while these changes are being implemented.

So for the General Secretary of the IPU to come out and say that we are simplifying the issue beggars belief.

Ultimately I believe it will be seen that the IPU and An Post, despite the good work of so many of its members, have grossly overstepped the mark in terms bringing about long lasting damage to rural communities. That is a point that Mr O’Hara, the IPU and An Post have yet to respond to,” concluded Deputy McGrath.




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