[Sinn Fein]

29th May 2003

Sinn Fein says no to Postal Boxes

Sinn Fein County Councilor Gerry Murray has said that people in Rural Ireland should not engage in any negotiations or correspondence with An Post in relation to the provision of Postal boxes.

Cllr Murray stated "When the concept of deregulating Postal Services in the EU was first introduced in 1990 s, serious concerns were expressed by some member states as to whether services to rural areas would be maintained in a deregulated market. To address those concerns the EU incorporated into their Postal Directives Universal Service Obligations(USO s), thus the 1997 and the 2000 Postal Directives explicitly states that each citizen of the EU is entitled to a Postal services to their home on five days of each week regardless of their geographical location.

"Under no circumstances should people in rural Ireland relinquish their right to a first class postal service. If people start to concede on this issue further scaling down of services to Rural Ireland will surely occur. Already Eircom are attempting to abandon its obligation to provide telephones to all homes and businesses in Rural Ireland. The company has proposed setting an upper limit on the amount it will spend to connect new users. The measure is contained in a proposal put to the Commission for Communications Regulation. People need to realise that by relinquishing their right to a  first class postal and phone service they are also devaluing their own property.

Clr Murray concluded."People in rural Ireland should ignore all correspondence from An Post in relation to the matter as they are under no statutory obligation to enter negotiations with the company. Sinn Fein in Mayo will be launching a  Poster Campaign in order to prevent the imposition of a second class postal service on the people of Rural Ireland."ENDS

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