'It's the personal touch that matters'
Published 04/05/2015 | 02:30
Ciaran Byrne is determined to ensure his post office can continue to serve the people of Kilbarrack, Dublin, into the future.
His message to the Government is simple: "Step up to the plate."
Mr Byrne admits that business is holding up at present, but he has deep concerns.
"There has been a lot of talking from the Government about how much they 'love the post office'. But it feels a bit like the grape on the vine, they are watching it wither," he says.
Mr Byrne says unless the Government moves to provide a proper support structure for post offices, many will close.
"There is huge community support for the post office. It can be as small as putting an address on a letter. It's the personal touches that we are known for."
‘Without the post office, you can forget the village’
Donegal postmaster Joe McGarvey has no doubt about the impact more post office closures will have.
“Without the post office, well, you can forget about the village,” he says.
Mr Garvey’s outlet relocated last year to the former AIB branch in Falcarragh.
With the local Bank of Ireland outlet open just a few days per week, Mr Garvey says local people are turning to the post office.
“We have effectively become the bank,” he says.
But the postmaster expressed deep concern about the roll-out of Post and Pay services by An Post.
“An Post should be looking to ensure services are given to post offices, rather than taken away,” he says.
“I see a big future for post offices – but only if we are given the support we need.”