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Post Office Network.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 5 July 2006

Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Questions (55, 56)

Paul McGrath

Question:

47 Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he has received information regarding the closure of post offices throughout the country in the past five years; the number of post offices downgraded or closed down; the number of sub-post offices closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26564/06]

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Tom Hayes

Question:

87 Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the number and location of rural post offices and urban post offices that have been closed or downgraded in the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26560/06]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 47 and 87 together.

The opening, conversion and closure of individual post offices is a matter for the board and management of An Post. With regard to the post office network, as clearly set out in the Programme for Government, this Government and the board of An Post are committed to the objective of securing a viable and sustainable nationwide post office network.

Notwithstanding that, in line with similar trends across Europe, An Post has undertaken some network restructuring in recent years, Ireland still has one of the highest number of post offices per head of population in the EU. While the Government will support the network in any way it can, the best way to maintain a viable nationwide network is for An Post to enhance existing services and, building on existing strengths, to develop new product offerings. In this light, I asked An Post to bring forward a strategy to put the network on a long-term financially sustainable footing while maintaining its nationwide reach.

The Government recently approved that the board and management of An Post enter into exclusive negotiations with the company's preferred bidder, Fortis, to expand the range of retail financial services available through the post office network with a view to increasing the levels of post office business.

I would refer the Deputies to Appendix 1 as follows which outlines the information requested on the location of the 435 post offices closed or converted to agency in the last five years.

Appendix: Location and number of post offices either converted to agency or closed

Carlow

4

Cavan

27

Clare

10

Cork

50

Donegal

22

Dublin

12

Galway

19

Kerry

10

Kildare

5

Kilkenny

17

Laois

7

Leitrim

16

Limerick

24

Longford

8

Louth

9

Mayo

39

Meath

10

Monaghan

14

Offaly

10

Roscommon

20

Sligo

21

Tipperary

27

Waterford

4

Westmeath

20

Wexford

20

Wicklow

10

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