Government Minister intervenes in Post Office move in his home town

Conor Ganly & Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Conor Ganly & Lynda Kiernan

A public protest will take place in Mountmellick, Laois on Tuesday morning May 14 over the impending move of the Post Office out of the town centre.

A public protest will take place in Mountmellick, Laois on Tuesday morning May 14 over the impending move of the Post Office out of the town centre.

A public protest has taken place in a Laois town against the impending move of a Post Office out of the town centre.

Plans are advanced to move the Post Office in Mountmellick from its 114 year old home, to a SuperValu supermarket off the main street. See story on protest here. 

The move is to happen over the June bank holiday weekend, with work already underway on a unit that will be accessed from the supermarket as well as from Connolly Street.

However local businesses and community groups are hoping to call a halt on it.

"Our understanding is it is not over the line yet," one shopkeeper told the Leinster Express.

Traders say the move could mean the closure of shops in the town centre, and it would mean a longer walk for elderly residents to collect their pensions. 

Shopkeepers, residents and concerned groups are planning to gather at 9am on Tuesday morning May 14 in O'Connell Square, with some politicians also attending.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan shares their concerns and wants the Post Office to stay where it is in his home town.

"I have a personal association with the Post office over many years from my childhood. I expressed concern to An Post. My preference is that it would remain where it's been for the past 100 years," he told the Leinster Express.

However he said the government has no power to avert the move.

"It's not an issue over which the government has any power," the Minister said.

He understands that An Post and the Postmistress Thelma Graham are looking to have a more modern facility where there is footfall, and that the owner of the existing property has plans for it. However he said he would pursue the matter. 

"I asked An Post not to proceed until every opportunity around the square is pursued," Minister Flanagan said.