The closure of Cloyne Post Office will be a devastating blow to rural life if a new operator is not found, Cork County Councillors have warned.
Statutory business was suspended for a time at Monday’s full Sitting of Council to discuss the pending closure of the rural Post Office.
Fine Gael Cllr Michael Hegarty, who requested the suspension of Standing Orders, has demanded immediate Government action to prevent the loss of service.
Postmistress Bridie Dunne is set to retire next week following a lengthy career, but efforts by An Post to secure an alternative operator are said to have failed.
Cllr Hegarty said it would be a “disaster” if the village lost its only postal service. Currently the District Office services a population of 2,500.
He told the Local Authority Executive “Council should contact An Post immediately to liaise with the Community Council and interested citizens of the area, to identify suitable premises for Cloyne Post Office as soon as possible.”
“There is a very basic bus service, and it would make trips very expensive for individuals who use the Post Office in Cloyne, and very difficult if they don’t have their own transport.”
Mr Hegarty said that, as a public representative, he was willing to make himself available if An Post wish to engage in meaningful discussions.
He said that, coupled with the decision of the Company to close their Little Island service, it defied logic and didn’t make business or commercial sense.
Fianna Fail Cllr James O’Connor, who backed Cllr Hegarty, said amenities like the Cloyne postal service are a real valuable social outlet for many who feel excluded and lonely in rural areas.
He said “for a lot of people their trip to the Post Office, whether on a weekly or daily basis, is often their only opportunity to meet other people.”
Independent Cllr Noel Collins said “if the closure goes ahead it will seriously affect yet another rural area left devoid of public services.”
He said it would result in the general public having to travel miles for pensions and social services, and having to depend on an already poor public transport service.”
“Successive Governments are intent on closing down rural life with the closure of Post Offices and rural Garda Stations” said the Midleton based Cllr.