DESPITE fire, smoke and water damage, An Post staff have delivered a fully operation post office.
The busy branch in Cork, which was damaged when fire ripped through a neighbouring derelict restaurant yesterday, will be open for business as normal this morning.
An Post staff at the West Beach branch in Cobh were joined by family members and friends for a major clean-up operation to ensure services, including social welfare payments, will not be disrupted.
It is believed that the fire at the former Titanic bar and restaurant, which is located just below the post office, was started deliberately in the early hours yesterday.
The bar has been closed and derelict for over two years and has been broken into on several occasions in recent months.
Several units of the fire brigade were called to the scene and firefighters spent hours bringing the fire under control, but not before it has caused severe smoke and water damage to the post office.
Both buildings was sealed off yesterday as Garda forensic experts tried to establish the cause of the blaze.
A spokesperson for An Post said it was thought initially that some services would have to transfer to the town’s other post office on Midleton Street.
But thanks to the clean-up operation, the public office can reopen this morning.
The damaged post office also served as a mail delivery centre for 14 routes around Cobh. That section of the building has been completely gutted.
An Post officials were working last night to transfer those operations to An Post’s main distribution centre in Little Island, where they are likely to remain for some time.
A small number of packets and parcels, which were awaiting collection, were also slightly damaged by smoke and water.
They will be delivered over the coming days with an explanatory note, the spokesperson said.
“There might be some slight delays to some services in the coming days, and we apologise for that, but we are working to get things done to minimise delays,” she said.
Local town councillor John Mulvihill said that he wants to ensure that once the post office is fully repaired, its full range of services is restored.
The Titanic bar restaurant was set up by former Lotto winner Vincent Keaney who became Ireland’s 26th Lotto millionaire when he won £1 million in 1994.
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