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Major changes delivered at the last minute to Timoleague Post Office

January 27th, 2022 7:05 AM

By Southern Star Team

Brenda O’Driscoll outside Timoleague Post Office that ceased sorting mail on Friday last. An Post is now completing the sorting process at its delivery office in Bandon. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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BY MARTIN WALSH

THE tradition of sorting mail at Timoleague Post Office, that spanned almost a century, was carried out for the very last time this week in the seaside village.

For many years, the post was brought to Timoleague on the train. However, when the Cork Bandon and South Coast Railway’s line closed, post was then brought to Timoleague by the ‘mail car’. In later years it was driven by the late Teddy Harrington and more recently by An Post’s own transport, with sorting being carried out in the village post office.

Last Friday as postmistress Brenda O’Driscoll and several postmen were bidding farewell to retiring postman Billy Drake, it emerged the sorting of mail was being moved to Bandon.

‘It was lunchtime on Friday before I actually received confirmation that the sorting process was moving to Bandon,’ said Brenda.

‘We (herself and the postmen) had been saying it for a while, but we thought it would be down the line. Now it’s for real. It’s a bit of a blow for sure, and communication (from An Post) was poor, to say the least.’

Next April, Brenda will complete 23 years of service. She was preceded by Tessie Madden (wife of the late Charlie Madden), who ran the Timoleague Post Office from 1979 when it was then in Main Street in a building owned by the Stanley family. Prior to ‘79 it was run by Bessie (nee Stanley) Kingston.

The Stanley’s had a grocery shop in the other part of their premises that has long since reverted to private residency.

Responding to the change, Angus Laverty, public affairs manager of An Post said: ‘An Post staff from Timoleague and Lislevane are now being based at An Post’s delivery office in Bandon. Three staff formerly based at Timoleague post office and one from Lislevane began working from the Bandon base on Monday morning last. For a number of years, An Post has been upgrading local mail delivery operations nationwide.  This includes moving staff from small local post offices to centrally-located delivery offices. The move enables An Post to provide a better quality and more efficient service for customers, better working conditions for staff and to meet the logistical, health and safety, fleet and security requirements of the modern day business.’

In the context of rural Ireland and the revitalisation of villages, Mr Laverty commented: ‘The only difference for local customers is that postal operatives will be based and begin their day’s work at Bandon each morning. Undelivered mail will still be available for collection at both post offices. The move also takes account of the growth of An Post’s parcels and ecommerce business. An Post looks forward to this new chapter in our long history of service to the people of Timoleague and Lislevane.’

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