NO bank, no hotel and now no petrol station - the people of Tarbert have described the lastest major closure of a local service as a ' bodyblow' to the village.
Lynch's petrol stationclosed after 66 years of service to the community on New Year's Eve. It is the latest in a series of business closures over recent years that locals fear will leave Tarbert a 'ghost' town. AIB closed its 140 year-old branch in Tarbert on October 26; little more than a year after the closure of The Lanterns Hotel.
Locals will now have to travel to Glin or Listowel to fill their petrol tanks; just as they are forced to travel to Listowel for their banking needs.
Lynch Filling Station owners Patrick and Joan Lynch said they had planned to retire for some time, but that the business was not helped by the closure of the bank and the pressure of competition from large filling stations in nearby towns. Lynch's was one of the last kerbside petrol stations in the county.
Patrick and Joan were wished all the best in their retirement by locals who praised the couple for their level of service over the years.
"As a community we are sorry to see this event unfold, but we wish Patrick and Joan health, happiness and long life in retirement. Lynch's was regarded as a cornerstone of the commercial life of Tarbert," local development company spokesman John Fox said.
Patrick Lynch said he was sad at closing the family business: opened by his parents Paddy and Nora in 1946. "Joan and I had planned on retiring anyway, but times have been tough in recent years. In the last few years operating costs have increased significantly and the customer base has declined, with trade lost to bigger towns nearby," he said.