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Newport Post Office facing closure


UNCERTAIN FUTURE An Post has failed to find someone to take over the running of Newport Post Office. Pic: Google

Anton McNulty

NEWPORT may be left without a post office if no one has applied to run the postal service in the west Mayo town by the end of the week.
The current postmistress in Newport Post Office is retiring, and despite advertising the vacancy a number of times over the last year, An Post has been unable to find a suitable partner to take over the role.
The deadline for applications for the contract to operate the post office is this Friday, September 6. If the vacancy is not filled, An Post has indicated that it will have no option but to temporarily close the post office.
Darragh McGee of the Newport Business Association said the closure of the post office would be an enormous loss to the community on a number of levels.
“There was a couple of applications and expressions of interest from businesspeople in the beginning, but whatever stipulations An Post required were not suitable for the businesspeople. I spoke to Pat Dunlea, the area manager with An Post and the reality is that the post office will face temporary closure if there is no application by Friday.
“We don’t want to see it go because a lot of people in the town depend on the post office, not just to pay their bills and do their business but also from a social point of view.  For elderly people collecting their pension might be the only time they meet up with other people during the week. Hopefully we will find a solution and not let the closure go ahead,” he said.
An Post’s criteria requires that the new post office premises will be co-located with another business and centrally located. Mr McGee said that after speaking to some local business people, he feels that the cost that a business would incur by facilitating a post office at its premises is one of the stumbling blocks in continuing the service in the town.
He also encouraged anyone interested in taking over Newport post office to get in touch with An Post to see if the organisation can come up with some arrangement to keep the post office in Newport.
“We are still hopeful someone will take over, and I would encourage anyone who is interested to contact An Post by Friday and chat with them. They [An Post] may be interested in talking to people to find a solution that would allow a standalone premises if co-location fails. Anyone who is thinking of starting a business themselves should also make contact with An Post to see if something will work,” he said.