Taoiseach Simon Harris is set to review the situation in An Rinn, following the closure of the area’s only post office.


The issue was raised by Waterford Independent TD Matt Shanahan, who was speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday, May 1.


Deputy Shanahan said: “When this Government was formed in 2020 there was a post office, a GP practice and an active Garda station in Gaeltacht na nDéise.


“Despite all the ráméising in this House about protecting our Irish language, having it listed as an official EU working language, mandatory publishing and broadcasting as Gaeilge, the Government supports required to protect our teanga are not in evidence in An Rinn agus An Sean Phobal, where the GP practice, the manned Garda station and now the last post office have closed.”


Addressing the Taoiseach, Deputy Shanahan called on the Government to address their handling of Gaeltacht areas.


He continued: “All of this while €50 million has drifted out the doors of Údarás na Gaeltachta since 2019 but nothing spent i nGaeltacht na nDéise. Less talk and more action is required.


“Will the Taoiseach look at reviewing the charter of both Údarás na Gaeltachta and An Post in terms of their responsibilities to support the community services in our Gaeltacht but especially i nGaeltacht na nDéise?”


In response to Deputy Shanahan, Taoiseach Simon Harris agreed that it was an area in which improvements are needed.


The Taoiseach said: “I will indeed. I thank Deputy Shanahan for raising this.


“On taking office, I had a very good meeting with a number of Irish-language groups and groups representing Gaeltacht areas.


“There is a real need to do a lot more in this space. The Deputy’s two constructive suggestions are ones I am happy to take away and come back to him on.”


Last month, Postmaster Máire Breathnach announced her intention to retire, and expressed concern that there was no one looking to takeover the post office in An Rinn.


Speaking to Newstalk, the 74-year-old said that she was worried that people may blame her that there is no longer a post office in the area.


She continued: “I always thought one of my children might do it but it wouldn’t be viable, they wouldn’t afford to raise a family with the new contracts


“There is not support from Government or An Post and the contracts aren’t good enough to run an office, and with insecurity and you’re working 5 and a half days a week for probably less than minimum wage. They should be offering better contracts in my opinion.


“You have rates to pay, you have high insurance and security is a huge part of it, you’re minding somebody else’s money”


Ms Breathnach also explained how important the post office is to the local community.


“It has been there for 3 generations and it’s a big part of the community. I have my customers asking me what they’re going to do”


She also spoke about having some customers that go to the post office who mightn’t see anyone else for the rest of the week. She believes that these things must be taken into account also.


Following Ms Breathnach’s retirement, the post office was forced to close and the people of An Rinn have been left without a post office.


The nearest post office is now some 10km away in Dungarvan.