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Last post for Helen in Partry

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GRATITUDE  Helen O’Mahony pictured at Friday’s function in Partry Community Centre in her honour with her husband Donal, family and members of the Partry Community Council. Pic: Trish Forde

Huge crowd turn out for farewell community function

Ciara Galvin

IT was the end of an era on Friday last as Helen O’Mahony closed the door of Partry Post Office for the final time.
Helen has operated the post office and hub of the community since June 1, 1975, but had her apprenticeship served under her family, who operated it before then.
“I grew up with it, it was like you were there all the time. Once I was able to do it I was working there. I didn’t feel I took it over, it was part and parcel of the household,” explains the former post mistress.
And, in return, Helen says her family helped her look after the post office throughout the years.
“I have wonderful happy memories and met some wonderful and pleasant people, all hassle free,” she recalls.
Overseeing the posting of thousands of letters and parcels, on Friday Helen received the last letter to Santa from one very special customer, her grandson Odhráin, and the last parcel from Fr John Kenny.
With online taking over a lot of today’s services, Helen feels it is the right time to enjoy her retirement.
“That’s new Ireland now, bills paid online.”
Asked if she’ll miss the post office, Helen said she’s still busy packing up.
“I’m going to try to stick to the routine of getting up in the morning, I’ll have to wait and see what I think when I’ve everything put back. It’ll be some time before I realise it’s gone.”
Helen agrees that the post office was a meeting place for people for many years, acting as a social setting for people.
The entire community gathered with Helen, husband Donal, children Imelda, Patricia, Paula, John and Donal and extended family on Friday night last at the Community Centre to show their appreciation.
“Friday was wonderful, it was just unbelievable. I was just taken aback by the large attendance and gifts, cards and flowers. I just want to thank them all, it’ll take me a week. I have some very special memories and great bonds with people.”

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