Post offices ‘the heart of villages’
FINGAL’S more rural post offices are under threat from falling business and a reported plan to close 400 rural offices around the country and are backing the Postmasters’ Union’s rejection of a new contract from An Post that they say fails to recognise the ‘social value’ of the post office.
Linda Neary runs Lusk post office and is an active member of the union and supports the rejection of the new contract.
She told the Fingal Independent: ‘ The post office is at the heart of the village and at the heart of the community and that social aspoect of the post office is really vital to this community and every community.’
Ms Neary said that there are people in the village who only meet at the Post Office, particularly as the nights draw in and people tend to spend more time in the evening at home.
Fingal postmasters are now waiting on An Post to respond to their rejection of the new contract to see what the next step in the dispute will be and Ms Neary said she hopes the impasse will not result in demonstrations. ‘We just want to be able to serve the community and we don’t want to have to take to the streets over this,’ she said.
She called on people all over Fingal to support their local post office and called on the Government to intervene in the broader issue of keeping rural post offices open.
An Post and the Postmasters’ Union have at least reached agreement on the implementation of a new ‘ smart’ bank account at post offices and the Lusk postmistress said she is waiting to be trained in on that system and is prepared to take on more services.
Ms Neary is hoping for some ‘resolution’ that will mean that rural post offices not only survive but thrive.
Margins are tight in the business and Ms Neary said that she, along with most postmasters took a major cut in their wage last year, out of which all the overheads of running the post office have to be paid. The 400 reported post offices slated to be closed have not been revealed and An Post continue to deny there is a fixed number of offices scheduled to be closed.