Castletownbere’s post office moves to larger space as services are increased

December 8th, 2022 7:10 AM

By Helen Riddell

Berndan Gonnley posting a letter in the new letterbox with postmaster Noel Harrington at the new post office in Castletownbere. (Photo: Anne Marie Cronin)

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CASTLETOWNBERE Post Office is moving to a new, larger premises which postmaster Noel Harrington says will provide an even better service for customers.

The new premises at the west end of Castletownbere is set to open on Monday December 5th, providing a larger retail space with a more contemporary design and more spacious sorting facilities for the postal workers.   

Running the post office is a family tradition for Noel, whose late father became Castletownbere postmaster in the late 60s.

Noel took over the role in 1993. In between, he was a member of Cork County Council from 1999 to 2011, serving a term as county mayor, and was elected as a Fine Gael TD for the Cork South West constituency from 2011 to 2016.

Noel outlined how the current post office was proving to be too cramped for postal staff to sort the mail, especially during the pandemic when social distancing was required.

‘These new premises will provide a bigger mail sorting area and a more up-to-date retail space for customers,’ he explained.

‘Now that An Post are increasing the services they offer and providing banking facilities through their own An Post current accounts, and facilitating banking with both AIB and Bank of Ireland, it will provide a better service for the customer.

He also says the new location will help to support other businesses in the west end of Castletownbere,’ he said.

‘There is public parking directly opposite the new post office and I think the new location will bring much-needed football to this end of the town,’ he said.

While Noel realises that online banking is easier for the customer he is encouraging people to come into the post office to do their transactions.

‘We depend on people, and the more people come into rural post offices to do their transactions, you are supporting these offices and keeping them open.’ Located on one of the remotest peninsulas in Ireland, Noel said that for many people a visit to the local post office provides a vital social outlet.

‘We are open six days a week, and meeting and chatting to people is one of the best parts of the job.

‘We need to keep the doors open to rural post offices, not just ourselves, but all the post offices in Beara and around the country, so I would encourage people to come in and use their local post office, it’s the customers who are keeping our doors open.’

The new premises are located at West End, Castletownbere.   

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