The Post Office Network: Motion (Resumed) [Private Members]

The following motion was moved by Deputy Canney on Wednesday, 7 July 2021:
That Dáil Éireann:
recognises:
— the views of the members of Dáil Éireann as outlined during the private members’ debate of the 21st October, 2020;
— that a sustainable nationwide post office network is a key component of the economic and social infrastructure in both rural and urban areas;
— that post offices provide crucial public and financial services to communities all around Ireland, especially to those in rural and isolated areas;
— that from 1st July, post offices face a major challenge as a significant reduction in payment rates will take effect; and
— the need to put the post office network on a sustainable operational and financial footing in line with the Cabinet decision in 2017; and
calls on the Government to:
— introduce an interim solution that will be effective and deliverable from July 2021, to guarantee the current post office network and prevent any further closures;
— provide long-term certainty in order to enable postmasters to invest, develop and grow their businesses;
— ensure that all citizens have full access to the important services they provide;
— designate the post office network as the ‘offline gateway’ of choice for citizens availing of State services, due to its unique nationwide network and existing strong
relationship with offline citizens;
— reinvigorate the post office network by extending the services which post offices provide and by retaining existing services such as social welfare payments;
— commence the provision of offline Government services, with the availability of motor tax renewal through the post office network; and
— give recognition to the existing post office network as both a rural economic lifeline service and a locus for future development of financial services outside of the existing banking framework."
Debate resumed on amendment No. 1:
(a) To insert the following after “in line with the Cabinet decision in 2017;”:
“notes the findings and recommendations contained in the Grant Thornton report entitled ‘Review of the economic contribution and financial sustainability of the Irish Post Office Network’, commissioned by the Irish Postmasters' Union, which recognises the contribution of the post office network, the huge challenges facing the sector and includes a recommendation to introduce a Public Service Obligation (PSO) of approximately €17 million per annum; and”;
and
(b) To insert the following after “financial services outside of the existing banking framework”:
“— implement proposals contained in the Final Report of the Post Office Network Business Development Group (Kerr Report) published in 2016; and
— introduce a PSO to guarantee the current post office network and help prevent further closures, to ensure people have continued access to the important services post offices provide.”
- (Deputy Darren O'Rourke)

I must now deal with a postponed division relating to amendment No. 1, in the name of Deputy O'Rourke, to the motion regarding the post office network. Today on the question, "That the amendment be made", a division was claimed and, in accordance with Standing Order 80(2), that division must be taken now.

Amendment put:
The Dáil divided: Tá, 57; Níl, 67; Staon, 0.

  • Andrews, Chris.
  • Barry, Mick.
  • Berry, Cathal.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brady, John.
  • Browne, Martin.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Clarke, Sorca.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Conway-Walsh, Rose.
  • Cronin, Réada.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Pa.
  • Donnelly, Paul.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Farrell, Mairéad.
  • Fitzmaurice, Michael.
  • Gannon, Gary.
  • Guirke, Johnny.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kerrane, Claire.
  • Mac Lochlainn, Pádraig.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McNamara, Michael.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Catherine.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Murphy, Verona.
  • Mythen, Johnny.
  • Nash, Ged.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • O'Callaghan, Cian.
  • O'Donoghue, Richard.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Darren.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Murchú, Ruairí.
  • Ó Ríordáin, Aodhán.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Patricia.
  • Shanahan, Matt.
  • Shortall, Róisín.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smith, Duncan.
  • Stanley, Brian.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Tully, Pauline.
  • Ward, Mark.
  • Whitmore, Jennifer.
  • Wynne, Violet-Anne.

Níl

  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Colm.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Costello, Patrick.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Cathal.
  • Devlin, Cormac.
  • Donnelly, Stephen.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Duffy, Francis Noel.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Feighan, Frankie.
  • Flaherty, Joe.
  • Flanagan, Charles.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Foley, Norma.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Hourigan, Neasa.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • Leddin, Brian.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Matthews, Steven.
  • McAuliffe, Paul.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murnane O'Connor, Jennifer.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Noonan, Malcolm.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Joe.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connor, James.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donnell, Kieran.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Gorman, Roderic.
  • O'Sullivan, Christopher.
  • O'Sullivan, Pádraig.
  • Ó Cathasaigh, Marc.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Richmond, Neale.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Ossian.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Staon

Tellers: Tá, Deputies Denise Mitchell and Pádraig Mac Lochlainn; Níl, Deputies Brendan Griffin and Jack Chambers.
Amendment declared lost.
Deputy Holly Cairns did not vote in this division due to an agreed pairing arrangement with Minister Helen McEntee for the duration of the Minister’s maternity leave.
Motion agreed to.
The Dáil adjourned at 11.15 p.m. until 9 a.m. on Thursday, 8 July 2021.