The owner of the new Connolly street shopping centre, in Mountmellick has dismissed rumours of a move there by Mountmellick Post Office.
“We’ve had no communication with them whatsoever, and no talks have happened. It’s just rumours,” said Joe Byrne of BPI Investments told the Leinster Express last Friday. The statement was in answer to rumours of talks and offers of a shop unit to the Post Office, owned by postmistress Mrs Thelma Graham.
“That’s not true. Nearly all our units are filled. Certainly if someone approached us, or if An Post have an interest, I can’t say what the future will hold,” he said.
He said people may have jumped to conclusions because the post offices in Portarlington and Monasterevin had moved beside Supervalu shops also owned by Emmett McConville.
“I think people put two and two together and came up with seven, and thought it was a given that it would end up this way here too,” he said.
Postmistress Mrs Thelma Graham also refused to comment to the Leinster Express on the rumours, except to say it was her business.
For months speculation has been rife in the town that the Post Office is on the move. The issue has been raised at Mountmellick Town Council and several local traders say the town centre would be ruined by the move.
“It would destroy the whole street. SuperValu are taking over Post Offices all over the country, I was told it has destroyed the middle of one particular town in Wexford,” said one shop owner, who benefits from increased trade on days when benefits are collected from the post office.
Another shop owner nearby feels the post office has a special duty to customers.
“The general public don’t want it to move. I think it would take the heart out of the town,” the trader commented.
TD Charlie Flanagan requested clarification on the move from An Post last June. In response a letter dated June 20 to say there were no plans at that time.
“I am pleased to allay your concerns and confirm that at this point in time An Post have no plans to relocate the Post Office in Mountmellick,” the letter states.
The post office has been located beside O’Connell Square since it was first opened in 1905, and was run by the Burns family for a century until Eithne Burns retired in 2005 and handed the reins over to Mrs Graham.