Kerry communities fight back against An Post closures

Sinead Kelleher

Communities across Kerry are fighting back against the closure of An Post outlets amid fears that up to 13 post offices will close across the county in the next six months.

A public meeting took place in Moyvane last Wednesday night to try and come up with a plan to halt the closure of their local post office, which it is feared may close early next year.

This closure will come following the closure of Kilflynn Post Office which shut its doors on Friday for the last time. It is the first Kerry post office to close under the new An Post modernisation plan, which among other changes, offered redundancy or exit packages to 26 post offices in Kerry.

Residents in Kilflynn held a protest outside the post office on Friday afternoon to voice their anger at the closure of the local service.  Local woman, Bec Fahy, said this week many local residents had no idea that the post office was to close and will not have any way of accessing another post office.

An Post have stated that  95% of the population will be within 15km of a post office and the village with a population of 500 will have an outlet.

"Some people didn't even know it was closing until Friday. A lot of elderly people can't drive and we don't have transport. How can anyone get within 15km of a post office without transport. It is ridiculous."

She said that the community has set up a local committe to fight for their post office. A petition is being started and a public meeting will take place next month.

"We want An Post to roll back on the closures and we want to try and reinstate the post office in Kilflynn," she said.

Meanwhile, in Moyvane the fight has also started to save their post office following the meeting last Wednesday.  Local man, Brian Finucane, says that local communities must fight back.

"Post offices are more in danger than they ever were. Communities join forces to fight back. It will be the end of rural Ireland if they close."

The Moyvane meeting comes following a simliar public meeting in Ballylongford last week to try and have their post office reinstated.  Moyvane, Duagh and Ballylongford have all confirmed that they have accepted the exit deal.

Ten of the 26 post offices in Kerry who were offered exist packages have refused. However, The Kerryman's survey found up to 13 post offices have may close in the coming months or early in 2019.

Some post offices have refused to say whether or not they are closing their doors, leaving local communities in limbo. An Post have also declined to confirm who has accepted the exit package in Kerry.