An Post had “no prior notice” of the sudden closure of Ardnacrusha’s Post Office earlier this week.
On Monday, the post office at Ardnacrusha closed, local residents have been left with no choice or notice but to utilise Bridge St post office in Limerick instead which is an eleven minute drive away. However many of the parishoners using the post office do not have access to a car and would now have to travel the 33 minute bus route which operates five times a day or else source alternative travel.
A spokesperson for An Post told The Clare Echo, “The post office at Ardnacrusha has closed on a temporary basis due to circumstances beyond our control. We have been able to transfer customers to Bridge St (Limerick) post office in the interim. We regret any disruption caused to our customers. At this stage it is impossible to speculate on when the office might reopen. We had no prior notice of the circumstances that led to the temporary closure”.
Eugene Long who is running as a Fine Gael candidate in the Shannon Municipal District for the local elections was in contact with An Post in recent days. “I raised concerns that customers of Ardnacrusha post office are facing long delays at Bridge St post office having to collect payments from there due to the closure. I explained that this is a small post office and is not able to cater for the extra customers from Ardnacrusha. I was informed that customers have the option of collecting their payments at any post office provided they contact the Social Welfare office and let them know which post office suits them best, this will only take a day or two to change”.
Cllr Cathal Crowe explained the background to the development this week. “Like many locals I was aware, for some time, that Angela Nash (Postmistress at Ardnacrusha Post Office) wanted to cease running the post office and intends to sell her house which adjoins the post office. I expected that this would result in the post office closing at some point in the future but was surprised to see the sign affixed to its front window this week. The closure of Ardnacrusha Post Office must be seen in a different light to other post offices. Many rural post offices have been closed because they are perceived to be unviable from a financial point of view. Ardnacrusha is closing because Angela wants to pursue different things in her life.
“I believe that Ardnacrusha is a viable, well-supported and profitable post office. Anytime I’ve been a customer there I’ve had to queue behind several other people to be served. I understand that An Post are anxious to see a post office returned to the area and will shortly commence a tendering process to enable this. For now I think the feeling in the local community is one of mixed emotions. On one hand people are happy for Angela and grateful for the wonderful service she and her parents before her have given the community but on the other hand people are saddened to see their local post office gone. As a local politician I will be doing everything that I possibly can, including speaking with staff in the GPO, to ensure that the tendering process to reopen Ardnacrusha Post Office office is initiated as soon as possible”.
Social Democrat candidate, Betty Walsh felt, “This is devastating news for the whole community. This will affect those getting pensions and social welfare payments. Hopefully this issue will be resolved as quickly as possible”.
At present, there are 32 post offices in Clare, six closed under the national consolidation project as postmasters sought to retire from the business.
Collections from the post box at Ardnacrusha’s Post Office will continue.