Readers Blog: Rural post offices are focal point of village life

Readers Blog: Rural post offices are focal point of village life
The Post Office in Ballineen.

It is sad and indeed disheartening for people in rural areas to have successive governments continue to eliminate services to its inhabitants.

Next for the hammer and dead list are our post offices. Rural post offices should not be closed; their demise will only increase the depopulation of rural communities. People are unwilling to settle in an area where basic services, which are taken for granted, are absent.

The consequences of this trend are evident: in communities where postal services have been removed, small schools have closed, shops and other businesses have lost custom and in many instances, have closed down.

The fact that people have to move out of their own villages to collect their money means they spend it outside of their communities.

It seems that An Post is like a vulture; waiting for the death of the ageing postmistresses or postmaster in some rural communities. If any malpractice is detected in a post office, this is another opportunity for them to close a post office.

Postmistresses and postmasters are paid very little for the services they provide; the work they do is far beyond that for which they are paid.

They are the centre of their localities and distribute the news — good or bad. I appeal that these people be nurtured rather than decimated, as is the practice of An Post.

An Post seems to forget where it came from and where it is going.

Rural post offices should not be closed because they are the focal point of village life.

The post office is a hub, the centre and the heart of every community. It is a place where the elderly and lonely people meet and exchange views. A post office often gives an identity to a community.

For instance, it is reasonable to expect that a postmaster or postmistress who could have 50 to 80 old age pensioners collecting their pensions weekly would be the first to know if there was something wrong with any of them and this would have the effect of community neighbourhood watch.

I am calling on An Post and the Government to publish a new dynamic and imaginative visibility plan with the emphasis on viability and expansion for these offices rather than their destruction and dismantlement.

Cllr Noel Collins

St Jude’s

Midleton

Co Cork

More in this Section

The first few weeks of a Johnson administration will certainly be a bumpy rideThe first few weeks of a Johnson administration will certainly be a bumpy ride

Boris Johnson lacks character, competence and credibility, say leadership expertsBoris Johnson lacks character, competence and credibility, say leadership experts

We Irish are great at storytelling, because it helped us to surviveWe Irish are great at storytelling, because it helped us to survive

Local authorities handcuffed - Change laws to curb city derelictionLocal authorities handcuffed - Change laws to curb city dereliction


Lifestyle

Pollinators are busy feasting on a tempting selection of flowering plants, says Peter Dowdall.The hedgerows are alive with the sound of insects

Carol O’Callaghan previews Cork Craft Month, when exhibitions, workshops and retail opportunitiesAn insider's guide to Cork Craft Month's exciting exhibitions, shopping opportunities and workshops

With a plethora of culture and content releasing at an incessant rate, finding someone to have that cliched watercooler moment with is getting harder and harder. However, there’s a whole host of pop culture podcasts that do the heavy lifting/watching with you.Trawling through pop culture... so you don’t have to

An exhibition in Skibbereen pays tribute to late photographer Michael Minihane, writes Richard FitzpatrickMichael Minihane has been putting West Cork in the frame for decades

More From The Irish Examiner