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Louisburgh PO closes after 142 years

News

END OF AN ERA  The post office on  Long Street in Louisburgh has closed after 142 years service.

Oisín McGovern

Friday marked the final day in the 142-year-long history of Louisburgh village’s post office, which closed its doors for the last time.
Opened in 1880, the old post office had provided a valuable service to generations of Louisburgh folk. A palpable cloud of sadness tinged the sunny autumn day when The Mayo News called to the village last Friday afternoon.
All morning, the usual clientele tipped in and out with the usual messages, whether it be to send a letter, collect the pension or draw the dole – or simply to say their goodbyes.
Many went in clutching a bouquet flowers, a box of sweets, a ‘thank you’ card or a bottle of wine for the people who have been pillars of this community for generations.
“They were very nice, very straight people,” one gentlemen said of Freda Sammin and her daughters, Leyla and Joanna, the last proprietors of this back-kitchen-sized establishment.
“It’s hard to see them going. It was very handy down here.”
Some took the extra bit of time to bid farewell to the postmistresses, who lived across the road on Long Street for many’s the year. An the elderly lady who has probably made this trip hundreds of times took one final nostalgic glance at the window after her final Friday visit. Others were not too keen to prolong the sad goodbye, like the lady who entered with a bouquet of red flowers before exiting ten seconds later.

‘Very disruptive’
A new post office is to open in the new year, across the road from Durkan’s Gala on Bridge Street, right in the centre of the village.
Locals welcome the development, but the consensus is a simple one: “It won’t be the same.”
“I’m glad there’ll be a post office, but it won’t be the same. I’ll miss them,” said Judy Parker, an American lady who has called Louisburgh home for 30 years.
Another woman bemoans the fact that she will temporarily have to travel in and out of Westport to collect the pension while the new post office is installed on Bridge Street.
“There’s not a sign of a post office coming. And how are people supposed to get into Westport? What happens the people with pensions and dole money and the usual things? How are they going to be accommodated?” she asks.
“It’s very disruptive, particularly coming into the really cold and dark winters with ice and everything. It’s a pity.
“I wish them well, they’ve served the community well all these years and been very pleasant. But I feel for the people looking for their pensions.”

Not too long a wait
Joseph Jyodhesh, manager of Durkan’s Gala, told The Mayo News that he expects the new post office to be operational from the January 1.
He said that his shop will provide some services, like national and international stamps, while the new facility is being prepared.
“We can only provide the stamps now, but I have already contacted the regional head of the post office and Westport office to have a few more services,” Mr Jyodhesh said.
Then, at 2pm on Friday, November 18, almost a century and a half of history came to end with the quiet shutting of a door and simple turning of a key.
Louisburgh’s Long Street will never be the same again.