Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher has expressed his disappointment that the appeal to keep Burtonport Post Office open was rejected by the process of appeals set up by An Post and the Government. It is very bad news for Burtonport and it defies logic and is impossible to comprehend why this Post Office was not given the go ahead to remain open by the appropriate authority.

“This is a sad and bleak day for Burtonport with the decision to reject the Post Office appeal – I wish to compliment those who lodged a very strong and robust appeal to this decision.

“The appeals mechanism established by the Government in conjunction with An Post is an empty formula and quite frankly the entire appeal mechanism is a non-process which even in the most clear cut cases fails to recommend Post Offices for reopening - such as the instance in Burtonport Post Office and we also experienced poor decisions being taken with the closures of Dunfanaghy, Dunkineely and Gortahork Post Offices,” added Pat the Cope.

He added: “It is incredible and impossible to understand why Burtonport  Post Office was not recommended for reopening, when one considers the population of the area, the distances from other post offices it in my view fulfils all the criteria for a case and point for keeping a Post Office within a community . It is also worth noting that Burtonport PO served as a mail centre for Arranmore Island,” stated Pat the Cope.

Pat the Cope further added it is becoming self-evident that An Post and the Government have taken a conscious decision that no further appeals are to be approved regardless of the information provided. Earlier we witnessed Dunkineely’s, Dunfanaghy’s and Gortahork’s appeals being lost and now we have Burtonport’s appeal being rejected. All these cases are prime examples of towns whereby Post Office services ought to remain but this point was lost on  the appeal decision taken but moreover criticism must be levied at the Government – they have failed to intervene despite a Dáil vote on the matter earlier this year to support Post Offices under treat of closure.

The policy by this Government in partnership with An Post of Post Office closures throughout Donegal is leaving a massive legacy of rural decline and neglect by this Government and its predecessor in office, this policy of closing post offices from its inception was a poorly thought out policy and was extremely blunt in its approach. The Post Office policy being pursued by this Government is going to have a lasting negative legacy within Donegal and one which will last for years concluded Pat the Cope.

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