A Laois Post Office is set to remain open under a new owner as the Postmaster retires.
Pat Delaney has retired as the Postmaster of Rathdowney Post Office and Breslin's Supervalu has taken over the role as of today, April 29.
Connell and Noreen Breslin own Supervalu shops in Rathdowny and Abbeyleix. They moved the Post Office in Abbeyleix into the supermarket in February after the retirement of Postmaster Derry Connolly.
Now, Breslin's has added the Rathdowney Post Office to its portfolio. The Post Office and supermarket are located beside each other in Rathdowney.
Connell Breslin told the Leinster Express that the Post Office will remain in its own shop unit for now but it will be moving under the supermarket roof 'sooner rather than later'.
He said this is An Post's model going forward to co-locate the post office within another business location and he said it would benefit their business to have a 'one stop shop' with everything under one roof.
"An Post advertised the tender and we applied for it and we were successful, the process has been ongoing since October last year. It is great, the most important thing is that there is a post office in the town. It is beside our shop, we hope it will eventually move into the shop but for now it will stay where it is," he said.
Where there were three jobs there is now set to be four jobs spread out over the same amount of hours bringing the total number of jobs under Breslin's businesses to 100.
"Jobs are fierce important retail is a fairly steady trade so 100 jobs is a nice number to reach.
"We would hope that once we move it into the store that it will create a one-stop shop adding to our offerings. When we do move it in we will be renovating the supermarket to a very modern standard," he said.
The shop has been open in Rathdowney since 2009. They expect to know more about moving the post office into the shop in a month or two and expect that it could be some time next year.
Mr Breslin said the response to the new post office in the shop in Abbeyleix has been 'fantastic'.
The supermarket owners took to Facebook to share the news with customers.
"We are delighted this morning to announce that Breslin’s Supervalu has added the Rathdowney Post Office to it’s small but expanding portfolio.
"We would like to welcome Maura, Geraldine and Eileen to the team, and take this opportunity to wish Pat Delaney well on his retirement from the role.
"We look forward to providing the people of Rathdowney and the surrounding areas with the same high standard of service that has always been synonymous with the branch, and are delighted to announce that from today we will be open through lunch hours for your convenience.
"This also marks a small milestone for Breslin’s Supervalu’s, as it means that we now employ 100 people across both supermarkets and Post Offices. To that end, we would like to thank the people of Rathdowney and Abbeyleix for their constant support over the last 9 years," they said
When the Abbeyleix Post Office moved under the roof of the supermarket three months ago, Connell Breslin told the Leinster Express this would be the way forward for the Post Offices.
"An Post is keen to co-locate, without speaking for An Post but it is my understanding that they don’t see the future as standalone Post Offices in towns, they see them co-locating with other businesses because that model doesn’t stand up to rent premises and pay rates when we are already paying that anyway,” he said.