ALMOST 300 concerned locals attended a public meeting aimed at saving the post office in Lissycasey earlier this week.
It follows the news last week that six Clare post offices are due to close their doors in the coming months following a number of Clare employees being offered exit packages by An Post.
Meeting organiser and ‘Save Our Post Office’ campaigner Francie Daly told The Clare Echo positive talks were held at the meeting with a view to transferring the Post Office licence to another local premises.
“Everybody wanted it to stay in Lissycasey and the one advantage that we have is that we have a place to put it,” explained Mr Daly.
“Lissycasey has a catchment of about 2,500 people. So it would be a terrible, terrible loss to the people of Lissycasey.
“They’re phasing you out in the nicest possible way. Lissycasey has the second busiest road in the county. It’s crazy. Instead of trying to close them, they should be trying to keep them open,” Mr Daly said.
Francie was keen to express the gratitude of the people of Lissycasey to local Postmistress Mary Hanrahan.
“We have to say she has done a great job. She’s in there 32 years this November,” Francie added.
Fine Gael TD Joe Carey and Independent TD Dr Michael Harty were both on holidays and sent their apologies. The meeting was however attended by Fianna Fáil TD Timmy Dooley and Minister of State Pat Breen, as well as TD for Roscommon/South Galway Michael Fitzmaurice.
Minister Breen said that the package offered by An Post was optional and no-one is being forced to take it.
“Obviously there are circumstances why people have took the package, people that wanted to retire, maybe not that much business doing in the post office and maybe they had given a long service,” the Ballynacally man told The Clare Echo.
“I want to pay tribute to all the postmasters who are retiring. An Post are now processing those applications and they will make a decision on which post offices will close at the end of August.
“It’s up to any individuals or community groups to appeal this process with independent assessors,” he said. Minister Breen urged all those opposed to post office closures to put a plan in place to appeal the process. He also encouraged more people to use their local post office to ensure their continued viability. “If you don’t use the local post office, it won’t stay open,” Minister Breen added.
*PJ Kelly. Photograph: Martin Connolly An elected representative since 1974, PJ Kelly has been ever present