Fight for post office begins

Service An Post says it will not take a decision on Ballybrittas Post Office's future until it hears from the public

Fight for post office begins

Residents of Ballybrittas and surrounding areas are being urged to make individual cases to An Post to prevent the closure of the village's Post Office.

Following the meeting in Rath Community Centre last week it was decided that as many submissions as possible must be sent into An Post by the local people making the argument to retain Ballybrittas Post Office.

The organisers of the campaign say it is a vital service for the local community including areas such as Killenard, The Heath, Vicarstown, New Inn, Killenure as well as many more surrounding areas which avail of the services offered by An Post.

These services include Bill paying facilities, AIB banking, post office savings, as well as all postal services offered by An Post.

Submissions are easy to make and will take the form of a letter- typed or handwritten - which outlines why the resident feels the post office should be retained.

This letter can go into as much or as little detail as is wished. The organisers say that it is vital that as many people as possible send in submissions to give the best chance for saving the Post Office. Submissions should be sent to Pat Cremin, Retail Operations Manager, An Post Coote St, Portlaoise to arrive no later than April 3.

The public meeting follows on from a notice on the door of the the post office advising that it could close as a result of the retirement of postmistress Ann Murphy.

There is also a fear that if it goes the village would also lose its local shop as the couple also operate a shop from the same building.

An Post make clear that there is a doubt over the future.

“An Post is considering the future post office provision at Ballybrittas which could include the permanent closure of the office,” said the notice.

Before taking the decision, the State-owned company says interested parties are invited to submit their views on the matter.

In reaching its decision An Post said it would take into account network coverage, business at the office, customer access to service elsewhere and the capacity of neighbouring offices to handle the business if the office closes.

A spokesperson for the company said the notice is placed as standard practice as is the consultation that follows such a move.

He said a final decision will not be taken until after the consultation period is over. He said it is 'only fair' to warn people of that closure is possible outcome for the Post Office ahead of the final decision being made.

The spokesperson declined to comment on the level of business in the branch but said that Ireland has one of the highest levels of post offices in Euope for its populaiton. He added that the basis for the current network is based on a era in the country's history which is much different that what applies today when people tend to shop and do their business in bigger towns. He claimed that the decision on the future would not simply come down to money.