‘Cen­tre of west Wick­low has been hol­lowed-out’ – Rut­tle

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - NEWS -

NEWS that Donard Post Of­fice looks set to close as part of the An Post lo­cal net­work down­siz­ing has been met with much dis­ap­point­ment and lo­cal Coun­cil­lor Jim Rut­tle says that this move con­tin­ues the ‘dough­nut-ing’ or ‘hol­low­ing out’ of west Wick­low.

‘It re­ally is dis­ap­point­ing to hear this as there was a bril­liant ser­vice pro­vided there for many years. Not for one minute does any­body hold the op­er­a­tor re­spon­si­ble and ev­ery­one is en­ti­tled to their re­tire­ment, but with a bit of in­put from Govern­ment, the ser­vice it­self could surely be re­tained,’ Cllr Rut­tle out­lined. He slammed the de­ci­sion and ex­pressed deep con­cern that it is like an­other nail in the cof­fin of ru­ral Ire­land.

‘The whole cen­tre of west Wick­low has been hol­lowed out. It’s like a dough­nut and this sends a very def­i­nite mes­sage to the peo­ple liv­ing here. Plenty of towns and vil­lages have lost many shops but here is a vi­able ser­vice which could be built on and given some sup­port to con­tinue. The Govern­ment goes on about what it is do­ing for ru­ral Ire­land but noth­ing is hap­pen­ing here to change this sit­u­a­tion which is see­ing com­mu­ni­ties stripped of valu­able ser­vices,’ he added.

Mean­while, Fianna Fáil’s Pat Casey TD has said that if An Post’s plan is not blocked, ru­ral Ire­land will be left to ‘wither and die’.

‘Let me be clear. Post masters and mis­tresses who opt to take the re­dun­dancy pack­age are ab­so­lutely en­ti­tled to do so. They have given years of fan­tas­tic ser­vice to their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. Ru­ral Wick­low is be­ing left to wither and die by Fine Gael and their in­de­pen­dent friends,’ he said. Deputy Casey de­scribed the forced clo­sures as a ‘body blow’ to small com­mu­ni­ties.

‘Many post­mas­ters and post­mistresses have been of­fered sweet­heart de­lays to re­tire. These com­mu­ni­ties in Wick­low are not guar­an­teed that a re­place­ment con­tract will be put out to ten­der. When a ru­ral com­mu­nity sees its post of­fice close, it can be a body blow to its sus­tain­abil­ity and vi­a­bil­ity. I have ex­pe­ri­enced this first hand when Laragh Post Of­fice closed. De­spite cred­i­ble busi­ness plans for an al­ter­na­tive ser­vice, An Post still have not even replied to our work on this,’ Deputy Casey said. He said that Post Of­fices are much more than com­mer­cial ven­tures and called for Govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion on the mat­ter.

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