Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said the reasons provided by the Minister for Communications, Richard Bruton, as to why he cannot intervene in the decision to move Thurles Post Office from Liberty Square to Thurles Shopping Centre, do not stand up to scrutiny. Deputy McGrath was speaking after the Minister confirmed on Tipp FM that he cannot direct An Post to suspend the move because it is a commercial company and he has no authority to go against its plans:
“I think most people who heard the Minister’s remarks will have been struck by how selective and arbitrary they were in terms of what he or the government can or cannot do about this move.
Not two minutes before he made his remarks about An Post being a commercial company; he was at pains to try and convince us that the government will protect the public interest when it comes to decisions made by the commercial company who have been awarded the €3 billion National Broadband Plan contract.
So on the one hand he is saying; when it comes to An Post, I can do nothing and cannot intervene.
While on the other hand he is offering us all kinds of assurances that despite the contract winner for the broadband plan being a commercial company he will ensure safeguards are in place to protect the common good.
I also want to make it clear that we are where we are in large part because of the inability or unwillingness of the two government supporting Tipperary TD’s, Deputy Cahill and Deputy Lowry, to effectively hold this Minister to account.
Given the support they have offered this government and given the need government has for every single vote in the Dáil; then clearly they could have applied more substantial pressure and they have chosen not to do so,” concluded Deputy McGrath.