Fears for elderly following closure of Limerick post office

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

THERE are fears for services for the elderly in O’Connell Avenue/Ballinacurra after the local post office closed down.

THERE are fears for services for the elderly in O’Connell Avenue/Ballinacurra after the local post office closed down.

As revealed by the Limerick Leader, the post office in O’Connell Avenue is to close down, with a new one set to open beside Willie Sexton’s pub in Henry Street.

But planning permission for the empty unit beside the pub is not due until May, meaning the elderly population living on the city’s southern side will face a long walk to the general post office in Lower Cecil Street.

Tony Flannery, who lives in the South Circular Road, says a major fear is that there will be a lack of familiarity when people journey into town to collect their pensions.

“For one thing, you cannot park your car on Cecil Street. But also, the people who ran the post office [in O’Connell Avenue, previously Clontarf place] were there for 40 years. They were familiar with the needs of the people up here,” he explained.

In a letter sent to some residents on the city’s southern side, it is stated: “Sadly, after 37 years of business, An Post has decided to transfer the contract for the operation of this post office to another provider.”

A spokesman for An Post said the move came about as the postmistress resigned from the job.

“We advertised for a new contractor to take over this job. A contractor came forward with a new premises just around the corner, and they hope to open in mid-April. It is much better positioned, a brighter, newer office, “ the spokesperson added.

However, Mr Flannery believes that because of the constraints in the planning process, the area may not see a new post office until after next month.

“This is going to take a long time. In the meantime, there are a lot of elderly people who will have to travel long distances. People who go down to the post office on a regular basis are going to find it much tougher now,” he pointed out.

A spokesperson for An Post said after two years in O’Connell Avenue, the service is moving a short distance away following a change in the contract, bringing to an end 37 years of continuous service by the same provider.