Abbeyleix Post Office inside Breslin's Supervalu
A Laois shopkeeper has taken over his second Post Office this year as another well-known Postmaster has retired.
Less than six months after taking over the Abbeyleix service, the Rathdowney Post Office has been taken over by the local supermarket owners.
Connell and Noreen Breslin of Breslin’s Supervalu in Rathdowney took over the running of the town’s Post Office on Monday, April 29.
The new Postmaster, Connell Breslin, said the post office will stay in its own premises for now but a move into the supermarket is on the cards.
He said this is An Post's model to co-locate the post office within another business and it would benefit them to have a 'one stop shop' under one roof paying rent and rates for one unit instead of two.
This happened in Abbeyleix in February when the Post Office moved from its landmark building on Main Street into Supervalu shop also on Main Street as part of the takeover.
"An Post advertised the tender and we applied for it. We were successful, the process has been ongoing since October last year. 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. 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.
Where there were three jobs in the Post Office 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,” he said.
Former Rathdowney Postmaster, Pat Delaney, enjoyed his first day out of a job in 58 years on Monday after retiring from his role at Rathdowney Post Office. He was Postmaster for 17 years.
Pat says the post office serves a wide community.
“It was the end of my tenure with the post office and I am very pleased Rathdowney will retain a post office. Rathdowney is a very good business centre and it is a very important facility for the town and wider community. It has been a success I am very pleased to have been associated with it.
“Rathdowney is fortunate that the post office is not closing because it would be a huge loss to a lot of people.
“Thanks to all our good and loyal customers from Rathdowney and the wider community particularly Maura Burke for managing the place and all our efficient and pleasant staff down the years and all the postmen who we had a long association with over the years who are now located in the central office in Portlaoise.
"Today is the first day that I haven’t had a job in 58 years. It is great to be healthy and to be able to say that, I hope to continue to enjoy life with my wife Mary Ann,” he said.