Lifeline for Mastergeehy post office

Tadhg Evans

Mastergeehy's post office has received a major lifeline with news that An Post will advertise a contract that would keep a postal service in the area, where it was set for closure in 2019.

The post office was one of more that 150 set for closure as part of the Irish postal service's restructuring plans running into early 2019.

The locality had rallied against the decision however, its opposition never more evident than when 140 people attended a public meeting organised by a working group, which included Fianna Fáil Councillor Norma Moriarty, in Ionad na Dromada last month. Submissions were made by the working group and locals on foot of this meeting.

The original An Post decision would have left Ballinskelligs, around 15 miles away, as the nearest Gaeltacht post office to Mastergeehy, which also has Gaeltacht status.

And it would seem this point was crucial to turning the tide in the locality's favour.

"Particularly in light of the fact that we were proposing to transfer work from a Gaeltacht Post Office to a Post Office in a non Gaeltacht area, the Company has decided that it will now advertise the vacant Post Office contract for Mastergeehy," An Post Retail Operations Director Gerry Whelan said in a letter shared by Deputies Danny and Michael Healy-Rae. "Mastergeehy Post Office will accordingly remain open provided that a suitable Candidate offering a suitable premises is forthcoming".

Working-group member Caitlín Breathnach told The Kerryman that management at the "Inny Tavern said they'd be happy to accommodate the service, and they've done so many times since.

"Forbairt na Dromoda have said the same. We're delighted with this, but we must thank our political representatives and the likes of yourselves [The Kerryman] for publicising it.

"The local community can be very proud of themselves," Councillor Moriarty told The Kerryman. "I'd also like to thank Patricia and the O'Neill family for their years of service to the post office."