An Post has confirmed that 161 postmasters have applied for the voluntary retirement package which was introduced with the agreement of the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU).

In a statement issued yesterday (2 August), An Post said: “This will likely result in the closure of 161 post offices out of a network of 1,111 post offices.

The list of post offices closing will be issued at the end of August once the details have been confirmed with each Postmaster.

The voluntary retirement package has been introduced as part of An Post’s Post Office Transformation Programme, which will see a consolidation of the network.

In yesterday’s statement, An Post reaffirmed its commitment that “communities of over 500 people will have a post office and that over 95% of the population will be within 15km of at least one post office”. All island post offices are being retained.

To meet its coverage commitments, An Post will also publish at the end of August a target list of new post office locations. An Post added that it is “well advanced” with plans for a €50m investment in post offices which will “see a modern look and feel across the network and improved service to all customers”.

Debbie Byrne, MD of An Post Retail, said that news about the voluntary retirement package take-up “marks a key point on the journey towards a stronger post office network”.

Byrne continued: “Some closures were inevitable in a network that has been largely unchanged for many years. The consolidation of post office business will strengthen the remaining post offices, and the development of a wide range of new services over the coming months and years will see a reinvigorated network across 950 post offices. We appreciate that these decisions have not been easy for the individual Postmasters and we are grateful for their dedication over many years of service in their communities.”

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