WEST Cork lost one post office this week and another one is set to close after Desertserges Post Office near Enniskeane closed its doors for the last time on Wednesday, while Ballineen Post Office will close at the end of the month.
These two post offices, along with Drinagh Post Office, have appeared on a leaked list of 161 offices where the postmasters or mistresses have applied for a voluntary redundancy package.
John Daly, postmaster of Drinagh Post Office who was recently convicted in the District Court of selling illegal tobacco in his shop declined to comment on the matter when contacted by The Southern Star.
A postmistress for 43 years, Hannie Crowley closed the door for the very last time on Wednesday at Desertserges Post Office, in what was an emotional day for the 70-year-old and her customers, friends and neighbours.
‘The redundancy package came at the right time, as I was approaching retirement age. I will certainly miss all my customers and friends, and they of course will miss the service that was provided here,’ Hannie told The Southern Star.
‘I’ve had lot of well-wishers and neighbours popping in today to mark the end of an era as this area had a post office for 165 years. The staff from over at Enniskeane Post Office also called today with a bouquet of flowers and I will miss them too.’
Marion O’Driscoll, who has been running Ballineen Post Office since her husband Florrie died earlier this year, confirmed that the post office will be closing at the end of this month. She added, though, that the post will still be coming there until the end of the year.
This week, An Post refused to comment on the leaked list and said that the official list of post offices closing will be released at the end of the month.
Debbie Byrne, MD of An Post Retail said that ‘some closures were inevitable in a network that has been largely unchanged for many years.’
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Cork South West TD Margaret Murphy O’Mahony said that these three communities deserve an explanation from Fine Gael as to why they are losing their post office.
‘Taking away the State harp from over the door signals the State’s withdrawal from the village and effectively tells people that the State no longer sees that village as a viable place to live and work,’ said Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.