The postmasters at two local post offices have opted to retire their posts under the agreement concluded between An Post and the Irish Postmasters’ Union and the relevant business incorporated within both branches will transfer to alternative locations.
Cornafulla and Ballinahown post offices are to cease trade with the alternative options for customers now being the use of post offices in Athlone (Cornafulla ) or Ferbane (Ballinahown ).
Addressing the imminent closure of Ballinahown post office, Cllr. John Dolan, said that the news is a blow to the heart of the community.
“Ballinahown is a vibrant village and this announcement, coupled with the closure of the local pub at this present time means that the communities amenities are cut in half. It is completely unfair that customers seeking to withdraw their pensions will now have to travel to alternative post offices in Ferbane, Moate and Athlone in the future.
“I really do believe that An Post are taking the soft option and have completely forgotten about rural communities with regard to their service delivery ethos,” Cllr. Dolan commented.
Initially raising his concern during the Municipa District meeting, Cllr. Michael O’Brien stated that the decision to close local rural post offices was another “huge blow” for these communites, adding that a subvention from Government could be made available to rectify the situation.
“The post office is an integral part of the rural community. Not alone do people do business there, but it is a regular meeting place for many. Are we serious about maintaining the necessary service facilities in rural Ireland?,” Cllr. O’Brien questioned.
Concurring with his fellow elected representatives, Town Mayor, Cllr. Frankie Keena noted that ministerial intervention would be sought in this regard and expressed the need to seek out the support of Deputy Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran in the hope of further addressing the issue.
Details of An Post’s decisions on future local post office services, including Social Welfare payment arrangements, will be posted in each the listed offices within the coming weeks.