Shandon fights to keep its post office

Shandon fights to keep its post office
People taking part in a 'Save Our Post Office' campaign on Shandon Street.

BUSINESS people and residents joined together for a ‘Save Our Post Office’ protest on Shandon Street yesterday.

More than 100 people from the Shandon community demonstrated for the retention of the existing Post Office, following confirmation that it is to shut after Christmas.

The current postmaster is shutting the business on December 27 due to a reduced stipend paid by An Post to cover running costs.

Yesterday’s protest, organised by the Shandon Area Renewal Association, was held to put pressure on An Post to find a solution to the problem.

The campaign pledged to continue the protests, with another demonstration next Friday, to encourage An Post chiefs and the Government to intervene to save the post office.

City councillor Fiona Ryan, who was present at the demonstration, said: “We are seeing the beginnings of a campaign to take back our public services from the mercy of profit and cost-cutting.

Protestors campaigning to save the post office on Shandon Street
Protestors campaigning to save the post office on Shandon Street

“All around the country, post offices face a similar fate due to the devastating cuts to funding seen over the past few years.

“Fine Gael want people of the Northside to vote them into office next May, but the reality is that they preside over the system that forces vibrant post offices such as Shandon Street to close doors because they refuse to properly fund them.

“We need a people-powered campaign to force action on this issue. I hope to see next week’s protest to be bigger and louder than today’s.”

No interim measures are in place to ensure services — such as social welfare and pension payments — will remain on the street when the post office closes.

However, An Post Communications director Aengus Laverty said this week that it has never been the company’s intention to remove the service from Shandon Street and he hopes other business owners will come forward to discuss taking on the contract for the service by subsuming it into their premises.

Mr Laverty told the Evening Echo that he hopes “positive” talks with local business owners will yield potential contractors. “We stressed that it was never our intention to close the office and we’re anxious to look at any way to maintain an office there but we have been left in the situation where our contractor is leaving and the office will close.

“We are prepared to talk to anybody that wants to come forward and look for a for a contract to provide a post office in Shandon Street.”

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