Wednesday evening will be long remembered in Laois, as over 24 sub-post offices closed down on instructions of the Sub-Postmasters Union.
From Abbeyleix to Arles and from Camross to Clonaslee, every quarter of the county of Laois is affected, with the exception of one or two offices. The strike is 80 percent effective, so a staff reporter learned from an authoritative source late on Wednesday. Exception, it is alleged, has been taken to the fact that a prominent member of the Portlaoise Sub-Postmasters’ Branch of the Union has not closed.
A run around the county before going to press showed that in almost all sub-offices those involved were absolutely unanimous in cutting off the services. They maintained that they had not received just consideration for their claims - that matters have, for too long, been put on the long finger.
Despite any talk about clouding the issue, our reporter was told the sub-postmasters are only claiming what is their rights. In one of the larger offices, a member stated that they worked morning, noon and night, for what, in present-day conditions, could only be called a mere pittance.
The centres which were closed are: Abbeyleix, Durrow, Rathdowney, Ballyroan, Ballintubbert, Wolfhill, Ballylinan, Crettyard, Timahoe, Mountrath, Ballyfin, Ballinakill, Coolrain, Borris-in-Ossory, Ballacolla, Kilbricken, Castletown, Camross, Clonaslee, Maganey, Graiguecullen, Arles, Ballickmoyler, Cullohill.
Others may also have closed, but this was not ascertained as we went to press. The numbers account for over 80 percent of local sub-offices. The postmasters would not make any statement. On Wednesday, Mountmellick, Portarlington and Stradbally offices were closed.