LAST POST Post woman Breda Delaney is retiring after 32 years service.
EARLY mornings will soon be thing of the past for Breda Delaney from Kilnock, Brickens. And after 32 years rising at 5am for her work as a post woman with An Post, she is not complaining at all. Breda has delivered her last post after opting to take early redundancy.
Formerly Breda Prendergast from Ballyglass, Mayo Abbey, she joined the company in 1983. “I did my first two years in Galway, delivering post on the bicycle,” says Breda. “My cousin Marydette Prendergast was in Galway a year before me doing the same job. There were only one or two other women delivering post in Galway at the time.”
Sometime later she met Eugene Delaney from Brickens and, as she says herself, “love brought me back to Claremorris!”
Breda joined the staff at Claremorris Post Office in October 1985. “Willie Butler had just retired and I did his run around Ballindine for a few months. Tom Connor from Ballinasmalla retired and then I was on the Scardaune for 15 years. When Johnny Slattery from Derrymore retired, I was assigned to his post and I covered Bekan, Brickens and a bit of Tulrahan for the last 15 years.”
Breda has seen vast changes in the job over the last three decades. “The term postman was the only one in vogue when I started out. Then post-women became the norm for us and in more recent times they started calling us all postal operatives.
“A lot of the personal feel has gone out of the job now and that was the one area I loved most. There are a lot of people in the rural areas who love to see you call around and they appreciate the little while you spend with them and the chat. I used to love calling to them.”
“The job is tough going for a woman and I would not recommend it. Parcels are not getting any lighter and you have to be up at 5 o’clock every morning you are on duty. It hasn’t got any easier over the years,” reflects Breda.
An informal party to mark Breda’s retirement will be held in the front bar of the Dalton Inn Hotel, Claremorris, on Saturday night, January 30, around 9.30pm.