“Earlier this year, I warned that no more time can be wasted for the social value of Co Tipperary’s post offices to be fully appreciated, and that the Grant Thornton Report recommendations on saving the network must be implemented immediately before a reduction in payment rates takes effect from July 1st.
“However, just one month ahead of that date, the Irish Postmasters’ Union has found itself having to hammer the point home again, because the action they need has not been forthcoming from the government.
“With three Bank of Ireland branches in Cashel, Cahir and Templemore to close within months, our post offices have never been more important to Co Tipperary, as they were planning to run some of Bank of Ireland’s services instead.
“If the Grant Thornton report continues to be ignored and left to remain on the shelf, as has been the case with the Kerr Report, the future of our post offices is in severe jeopardy, and our communities will suffer as a result.
“For years now, rural Ireland has been continuing to witness key services being stripped away from them. Earlier this year I pointed to decisions made about St Brigid’s in Carrick-on-Suir and the Dean Maxwell in Roscrea as being examples of this.
“Unfortunately, this has not changed, and the needs of our communities are being ignored through the neglect of the post office sector.
“Independent research has found that 85% of those surveyed supported government providing financial support to keep their local post office open, while 86% wanted more State services available at them.
“If the government fails to do this, it is failing our communities.”