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Village’s post office future in jeopardy

May 17th, 2023 7:00 PM

By Emma Connolly

Village’s post office future in jeopardy Image
Brenda O’Driscoll said the hike in people doing transactions online impacted her business. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

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TIMOLEAGUE’S postmistress is to retire after 23 years, sparking fears the village may lose its post office. 

Brenda O’Driscoll said it had been a very difficult decision to make and one she had been mulling over for months. 

‘But since the sorting office was moved from here to Bandon a year-and-a-half ago, my income was impacted hugely, and that was a big factor in making my decision to step down after more than two decades,’ she said. 

Brenda will remain in the position until October and An Post have advertised for someone to take on the contract, with hopes a suitable candidate will come forward before the May 19th deadline. 

The Timoleague native said the growing number of people conducting their transactions online had also impacted her business and she joined with members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union (IPU) who have called on the public to use their post office, or risk losing it. 

At the IPU’s conference in Cork last weekend, general secretary Tony Howard said: ‘By deciding to value and use the local post office, people influence the future and keep services available for everybody, and importantly for those who are not online.’

‘To sustain our network the public has its role to play too. Our message is simple – use your post office and encourage others to use it  too,’ added IPU president Seán Martin.

Brenda said it was wonderful to have been part of such a fantastic community as Timoleague, but that retiring  was the ‘right decision’ for her now.

Goleen’s postmistress retired last year after 23 years and the village has been without a facility since. The nearest post office is in Schull.

If Timoleague was to lose its post office, the nearest service would be in Clonakilty, or Bandon. 

A spokesman for An Post said it was too early to speculate how the recruitment process would go, and he acknowledged that it could be difficult to run a business, of any kind, in rural areas, in this day and age. 

‘But there is a good opportunity to run the business or match the post office with an existing business in Timoleague,’ he said. 

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