Tuesday 14 August 2018

'I don't want to go, I have to - I'm losing every year'

Members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union staging a protest about post office closures in the GPO in Dublin last year. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Members of the Irish Postmasters’ Union staging a protest about post office closures in the GPO in Dublin last year. Photo: Doug O’Connor

A postmistress who has agreed to take voluntary redundancy has said she had no other option.

Donna McDaid has been the postmistress of Burnfoot post office in Co Donegal for the past 19 years.

But she said in recent years business has been tough and there have been fewer and fewer customers.

"I don't want to go, but I have to. I'm losing every year. I still need to work, I'm going to have to reskill after this," she said.

Some 13 different post offices on the leaked list of redundancies were in Donegal, with many of them on the rural Inishowen peninsula.

Ms McDaid said the people of her town understood her decision but many were upset with the Government's handling of post offices.

"They're angry that they don't have a post office.

"I have a very good customer base here," she said. "I'm the second village in from Derry after Bridgend where the post office is very busy because of custom from across the Border.

"It's not so far away, but some of the more elderly people wouldn't drive and it's far if you walk," she said.

"It's a social occasion here as well. When I first arrived, it took some people a few years to gain that trust in me," she said.

The postmistress, who will close up the office in January, said the final nail in the coffin for the office was the decision by the Government to allow social welfare payments directly into claimants' bank accounts.

She accused the Government of doing little to help with the survival of post offices in the face of technology.

Irish Independent

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