AN POST have announced the locations of 159 post offices in rural Ireland that are set to close.
The closures are part of a deal reached between An Post and the Irish Postmasters' Union after years of deliberations.
The deal sees 159 postmasters retire and their offices close.
Sixteen post offices have already closed.
Postmasters who lose their jobs will receive a retirement package worth an average of €50,000.
An Post also said that all offices facing closure are in locations with populations of less than 500 people and within 15km of at least one other post office.
Debbie Byrne, Managing Director of An Post Retail, thanked the postmasters who have chosen to retire for their great service to An Post and local communities over many years.
"'We fully acknowledge that this process will be difficult for some customers and communities but the end result will be a strengthened, viable post office network serving the needs of our country for the future,'' she said.
A spokesperson insisted that all remaining 960 post offices are set to benefit from investments that will mean they offer enhanced services and products, including longer opening hours.
An Post also announced that five new post offices are due to open.
A full list of the post offices which are to close is available here.