THE death of the postmaster in Belgooly has left his family facing unfavourable terms from An Post, according to Cllr Alan Coleman (Ind).
The councillor raised the issue at a meeting of Cork County Council saying the actions of An Post represent ‘the creeping closure of the postal service.’
The Independent councillor described how the Belgooly postmaster, Seanie Allen, was buried on a Saturday and, the following Monday, two members of the management of An Post arrived into the post office and informed the family that the contract was now ‘finished’.
Cllr Coleman said there is no facility to change the name on a contract because the contract ends with the passing of the postmaster.
In this instance, he added, ‘the family were offered a temporary contract for six weeks at 50% of what they had been getting before that.’
He said: ‘They have been told that the new contract will be even less than 50% of what they were getting and they must invest on making it wheelchair-friendly, which could cost up to 75% of what they would earn in any one year.
‘Even at that,’ Cllr Coleman said, ‘they are only getting a three-year contract, all of which makes me believe this is a creeping closure of the postal service in rural Ireland.
‘The amount they are being offered is less than the wage they are paying the person in the post office, plus all the work they are doing themselves to maintain the service.’
A spokesperson for An Post said: ‘The circumstances are tragic when a postmaster dies. Understandably, it is difficult for family and customers. We do try to handle such matters sensitively.’