As 159 Post Offices across rural Ireland are closing - including 11 in Mayo, 18 in Galway and 5 in Roscommon-the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs Michael Ring insists An Post and the Government are not responsible for the closures, rather it’s the communities that failed to use their local post office on a regular basis.
He believes that, if local post offices were being used by communities, many of the Postmasters/ mistresses opting for the retirement packages would not be doing so.
The CEO of An Post David McRedmond is insisting that the remaining post offices will benefit from increased services and better investment, and says 96% of customers will benefit from the move.
Minister Michael Ring is not responsible for the post office network, but he is the Minister for Rural and Community Affairs.
He says he has been in attendance at some of the public meetings organized in the last number of days to Save the Local Post Office.
While he acknowledges that large crowds have turned out and are upset and frustrated by the closures, he told Midwest News that the same volume of people have not been supporting the same post offices.
Aine Gilligan is postmaster in Ballyglass Post Office, which is closing tomorrow.
She agrees with Minister Ring that post offices are closing due to lack of support from their local communities.
Speaking earlier with Midwest Radio, she said the numbers of people using the local post office have dwindled over the past 10-15 years.