Sunday 17 November 2019

Fears over the future of Roundwood Post Office

Myles Buchanan

There are growing concerns that Roundwood Post Office could close in the new year.

The postmaster is due to retire in January of next year, and while An Post maintain that efforts will be made to fill the vacancy, Fianna Fáil representatives Deputy Pat Casey and Cllr Gail Dunne say similar promises were made before the closure of the post offices in Laragh and Kilmacanogue.

'This is exactly how the situation in Laragh and Kilmacanogue started,' said Deputy Casey.

'The post masters were retiring, An Post advertised the position, never got a replacement and then closed both post offices. Regarding Laragh, An Post never even announced it was closing. A consultation process was held. Glendalough Development Association lodged a submission offering the Brockagh Resource Centre as the location for a community post office. They never even had the courtesy of acknowledging the local submissions that were made.'

Deputy Casey wants to mobilise the local community and start a campaign to keep the post office open.

'The campaign must start now. We were too late in Laragh and Donard. It was really a done deal in both cases before the campaign had even begun. Laragh and Kilmacanogue post offices are already gone. If Roundwood loses its post office as well then that whole section of the county is without a post office. This is another hard blow for rural Wicklow and again highlights the lack of imagination or determination to keep vital services in rural Wicklow. An Post must ensure no interruption of service for Roundwood and ensure a smooth transition to a new service,' said Deputy Casey.

However, An Post insists that 'there is no threat to the future' of Roundwood Post Office.

According to a statement released by the postal service provider: 'We have advertised the vacant contract for the office and notices outlining the details of the contract will be posted in neighbouring post offices and at in the coming days.

'The vacancy was created by the impending retirement of our postmaster scheduled for January of next year,' the statement said.

Cllr Gail Dunne fears that the service could cease in Roundwood altogether if a suitable replacement Postmaster isn't found.

'If An Post don't get someone in, it will be a complete disaster. They don't have a whole lot of time. It's nearly November now and the current postmaster is due to retire in January. I wouldn't have thought it's a great time of the year to be trying to recruit someone either. What will people do if the post office closes? How will people pay their bills and get their pensions, especially older people. They would have to go to Bray, Rathdrum or Wicklow town, which is way too far. It shouldn't even be closed temporarily,' said Cllr Dunne.

Bray People