Sad­ness in Cool­gre­any as clo­sure of post of­fice is con­firmed

Gorey Guardian - - FRONT PAGE - By SARA GA­HAN

The com­mu­nity of Cool­gre­any have ex­pressed their dis­ap­point­ment at the de­ci­sion of An Post to con­firm the clo­sure of Cool­gre­any Post Of­fice on Jan­uary 31.

The de­ci­sion to close the Post Of­fice was ap­pealed by hun­dreds in Septem­ber fol­low­ing the news that Cool­gre­any, and Camolin, would no longer have a post of­fice as part of a re­or­gan­i­sa­tion plan in­volv­ing the clo­sure of 159 vil­lage postal ser­vices around the coun­try. The of­fices are set to close un­der the terms of a vol­un­tary re­dun­dancy pack­age of­fered by An Post to post­mas­ters and post­mistresses.

Fol­low­ing an as­sess­ment by An Post’s re­viewer, the de­ci­sion to close was up­held and all so­cial wel­fare pay­ments will be trans­ferred to Bal­ly­fad Post Of­fice from Fe­bru­ary 1, 2019.

No­rah Finn, post­mistress of Cool­gre­any Post Of­fice, spoke of her dev­as­ta­tion and up­set at hav­ing to close the doors af­ter 13 years of ser­vice.

‘I am just so sorry that it is still go­ing ahead af­ter all we tried to do,’ said No­rah. ‘Be­fore we close, I will be avail­able to ev­ery­one to help them get sorted to wher­ever they would like to go, it doesn’t have to be Bal­ly­fad Post Of­fice. I will do as much as I can.’

Cllr Mal­colm Byrne, who helped or­gan­ise a pub­lic meet­ing in the vil­lage on the is­sue in Septem­ber and draft the ap­peal to An Post, said this is a big blow to the Cool­gre­any area.

‘We fought hard to keep the post of­fice as it is an in­te­gral part of the com­mu­nity life in the north Wex­ford vil­lage,’ said Cllr Byrne. ‘I still be­lieve that An Post got their fig­ures wrong. We are now re­ally bat­tling to en­sure the sus­tain­abil­ity of ru­ral Ire­land.’

In the ap­peal, the Cool­gre­any com­mu­nity pointed out that a Post Of­fice has been in ex­is­tence in the vil­lage since at least 1847 and pos­si­bly be­fore that as Cool­gre­any was a coach stop on the road to Dublin; over 300 so­cial wel­fare pay­ments are made weekly at the of­fice; and the post of­fice serves a com­mu­nity of up to 4,000 peo­ple on the Wex­ford/Wick­low bor­der.

Cllr Byrne added that a pe­ti­tion with hun­dreds of sig­na­tures ac­com­pa­nied the ap­peal.

Post­mistress of Cool­gre­any Post Of­fice No­rah Finn.

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