Wednesday, 30 April 1997
Seanad Éireann Debate
Mr. McGowan: The postal service has reverted to the bad old days. The Wells Fargo system has now returned. There is a four day delivery service to parts of the country, including County Donegal, which is unacceptable. It is not an efficient service and it will not help to keep small business people in business.
There is an increasing tendency to use facsimile machines. Medium and large size businesses no longer depend on the postal service. The banks have replaced it with their own system. Many of the major operators who have a large volume of mail are making alternative arrangements.
A very important service, one that could have been depended upon down the years, has now reached the point of collapse. It is sad. I do not criticise the workers. I strongly supported them and met Mr. Beggs who represented them. However, the service is nearly non existent and is unacceptable to many people in my county. A four day service is not on.
The future of the postal service is bleak. The Leader of the House has promised to bring this matter to the notice of An Post. It was a sad day when responsibility for the service was taken away from the Minister. It should be returned to ministerial control where the elected Members of the Dáil and the Seanad could do something about it.
Mr. Fitzgerald: I support Senator McGowan. The business of the House is entrusted to me on behalf of my party. The Order of Business, which is so important to the running of the business of the House, is received on Thursdays and, as it is my responsibility, I dispatch it to the 23 members of my party. I always post a copy to myself to ensure that other party members have received it. Delivery should be made to my home on Friday morning. However, by the time I leave my home on Monday evenings to partake in Tuesday sittings of the House it has still not arrived. By the time I get home this weekend I will have approximately ten letters dealing with the business of this House and the Dáil for this week. Only recently I missed a meeting of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges.
I do not blame anybody who sends out this mail because these delays also occur with post sent from my office. I would never post a letter on Thursdays to constituents regarding weekend meetings because they would not receive them on time.
If these delays are happening to this House they must be happening elsewhere. On Fridays our secretaries would be finished work by 4.30 p.m. so all letters are posted from the office earlier than that time. Many Senators on the other side of the House have the same problem.
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