Plans to curtail post office services in towns such as Boyle, have been described as alarming by Deputy Frank Feighan. ‘Recent reports have emerged of plans to reduce Post Office services in Boyle. Though such efforts may be couched in language such as ‘creating efficiencies’ or ‘economies of scale’ by An Post management, the bare facts are that active consideration is being given to reducing the company’s operations in the town. ‘As a businessman myself, I understand the need for business, be they private operations or semi-state agencies, to operate efficient and effective operations in the face of a very competitive business environment. However I cannot and will not accept any plans to reduce postal services when there is no justification in doing so in a town like Boyle, one of the largest provincial towns in the North-West region. ‘As far back as ten to fifteen years ago, I witnessed at first hand the devastating impact the closure of rural Post Offices had upon rural communities such as Kilmore in North Roscommon. As a result of these closures, the whole fabric and sustainability of rural economies was torn in two. Local shops began to close, other essential services were curtailed and people, particularly elderly people who relied upon the postal service, became more isolated. History will repeat itself if An Post decides to curtail its operations in favour of more automated services. Local businesses in the greater Boyle area will be affected and the public will be at the mercy of a greatly reduced service. ‘I would therefore call upon the people of Boyle and, in particular, the staff working at Boyle Post Office to resist any plans for the curtailment of services, not alone for employees to protect their own livelihoods but also for the greater good of the region’, Senator Feighan argued.