Cautious welcome as city community retains post office

ONE of Cork’s oldest city communities reacted cautiously to news last night that a post office will be retained in their area.

The busy post office in Blackpool, which has had a branch for decades, is due to close on Friday.

There were fears that a new branch would open in a unit in the Blackpool retail park, on the outskirts of the city village.

This would have forced customers of what is one of the city’s busiest branches, many of whom are elderly, to walk over a mile and cross a busy dual carriageway.

But the new postmaster, Tony McCarthy, confirmed his new branch will open in the village’s former post office building at 46 Thomas Davis Street on Monday.

It is located across the road from the old branch based at the rear of a Centra store. The shop’s post office operation will close at 1pm on Friday.

A spokesperson for An Post said a short-term deal has been done to locate the new branch in the former post office building, which has lain vacant since December 2006.

But Mr McCarthy said it is his intention to maintain the branch in that building on a permanent basis.

The building, which is owned by the Curtin family, who ran the Blackpool post office for generations, is for sale.

It has, however, been updated with a range of hi-tech security measures ahead of Monday’s 2pm opening.

Mr McCarthy said he hopes to locate the new post office there on a full-time basis.

“This is the ideal situation for everyone,” he said.

A campaign was organised by Socialist Party city councillor, Mick Barry, to retain a post office branch in the village and almost 2,000 people signed a petition.

Mr McCarthy, who also leases the nearby Geaney’s Bar, said he was conscious of the concerns of people in the locality. “The post office is developing rapidly and this is an exciting time for me and for the post office,” he said.

“I am hoping to provide the people of Blackpool with an up-to-date high quality service.”

Mr Barry welcomed Mr McCarthy’s indication to permanently locate the new post office in the village. “It is very much in the interests of the elderly and the village itself that this would be the case,” he said.

“But it is obviously a concern that he has yet to secure a permanent premises.”

Mr McCarthy Bar, said he and his family will focus their energies on establishing the new operation.

His daughters, Karen and Fiona, will help run the branch.

Two staff members from the Centra-based operation will transfer to the new branch.

A spokesperson for An Post said the Blackpool branch is one of the city’s busiest, with a large population and a busy commercial core.

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