Mountmellick Post Office. Picture: Denis Byrne
The family which ran Mountmellick Post Office for a century is shocked and worried at the news that it is to be relocated.
An Post confirmed last Friday that the post office is moving from the town centre to a unit linked to Supervalu. The move has angered some locally.
John Miller is a nephew of Ms Eithne Burns who was the previous postmistress and is the owner of the post office building. Speaking on behalf of his aunt and other family members he said they were not told of the move.
"The first thing we knew was when we saw the story on the internet late last Friday night. It was a shock. I rang Eithne on Saturday morning to let her know before anyone else did. She was taken aback and she is very worried at the idea of the post office moving out," he said.
The Burns family ran the post office from 1900 when it opened, until 2015 when Ms Burns retired and leased the office to the current postmistress, Thelma Graham.
Mr Miller said the family hope the Post Office can remain in the town centre.
"It's been in my mother's (Ms Burns' sister) family for all these years. We would hate to see it move out of the town centre, to see it moving at all. But at least if it was in the square it would keep the town alive. We have a huge loyalty to the town," he said.
He said the existing office could be modernised and expanded.
"I don't see why it cannot expand, there is the space there, but this wasn't even discussed with us. Or if somebody bought it and kept it there they could do it up. that could be a solution," Mr Miller said.
He stressed that there were no plans whatsoever to sell the premises.
"My aunt would be devastated if people thought that we were causing the move. There is no talk of selling," he said.
He said his aunt now lives in a nursing home but is in good health.
The Post Office is set to move over the June bank holiday weekend.
An Post say the branch is moving because it 'needs to be where the public are'.