The Rural Alliance has rejected any proposals to introduce mobile post offices or plans to provide eHealth services at post offices.

The proposed eHealth system would see doctors and consultants examine patients remotely through digital video.

The Alliance, made up of rural TDs Danny and Michael Healy-Rae, Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins, Noel Grealish, Michael Lowry and Michael Harty, has a motion before the Dáil today calling on the Government to honour its commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government to protect the post office network.

It also calls for an action plan for the post office network to be implemented within three months and a new community banking service operated by An Post to be made available in all post offices.

The motion will not be opposed by the Government.

Today members of the Alliance said it was vital that the post office network was protected.

At a press event, Mattie McGrath also responded to reports about the cost of some rail lines and said he had been assured by Minister for Transport Shane Ross about any closures.

But, he added, that it was difficult to justify trophy projects by some - a reference to his constituency colleague Labour's Alan Kelly who has criticised the Government for not investing in rural rail services.

Mr Kelly said: "the idea that only profitable public transport routes should be maintained would lead to the withdrawal of public transport from whole swathes of both urban and rural Ireland."

The Tipperary TD and former minister for the environment said it was "incredible" that the current minister will not stand up for public transport in rural communities "given the commitment in the Programme for Government to extend the Western Rail corridor".

A review found that the Limerick to Ballbrophy line is costing €550 per passenger to operate and carries just 73 passengers a day. That line borders Mr Kelly's constituency.

Yesterday a report by the National Transport Authority said Iarnród Éireann needs an additional €103m per year over the next five years for services to survive.

The report said that rural rail lines may have to close unless there is significant State investment.

Among those under threat are the Limerick to Ballybrophy, Limerick Junction to Waterford, and Ennis to Athenry lines as well as part of the Wexford line.