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John Cooley retires Photo: Mary Hehir

Postman John hangs up his hat after nearly four decades

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THIRD generation Postman John Cooley has retired from his rounds after 35 years in the job.

He only retired last Friday so his new reality hasn’t had time to sink in, but he thinks it will take a fair bit of getting used to.

“For the first few days it will be just like holidays, but after that I expect waking up at my usual time and not getting up to go to work will be the hardest,” John said.

After his father fell ill in 1983, John was the last cycling postman to be hired in Labasheeda, which according to him was a great way to keep the waistline trim as he had a radius of 30 miles to cover and no less than 18 hills to contend with.

“The scenery here is fantastic. I used to love it. Since I got these camera phones I used to be taking photos of the water and of animals,” John said.

John’s father failed to warn him about the perils of being a cycling postman at Christmas and he learned a valuable lesson in his first festive season in the post (see what we did there?).

John Cooley Photo: Paul Markham
John Cooley Photo: Paul Markham

“I got drink in every house and I was drinking then, so that year I think I fell off the bike at least four or five times.

“The following year I got wise, I wouldn’t drink in every house. I enjoyed the first few years of doing that but then I got married and I gave up the drink,” John laughed.

John’s daughter Aoife is so proud of how her dad faced all kinds weather to get the job done and provide a great service for the community of Labasheeda.
“He wasn’t only the postman but everyone’s best friend including his four children. Even the dogs on his run will miss him giving them treats,” Aoife added.

John hopes to do a course in elderly care, as he has a long history of caring for people in his community, but he pointed out that it will in fact be the animals on his run that he misses the most.

“Once they’d hear me talking they knew it was me because I used to give treats.

“I gave them dog nuts but the cats and the donkeys would eat them and I had one goat who used to eat them as well. I miss those more so than the people,” he said.

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