THE closure of the Shandon Street Post Office would be a “nail in the coffin” for the Northside area, a public meeting has heard.
The sum paid by An Post for the running of the office — including staff costs, rent and overheads — was reduced by 15%, forcing the postmaster to give notice that they will no longer operate the business.
A public meeting was held on the matter this week and the Shandon Area Renewal Association (SARA) is now seeking an urgent meeting with An Post to try to save the post office from closure.
An Post operates franchises for most of their post offices which are run by independent postmasters.
SARA member and local butcher, James Nolan of Nolan’s Butchers, on Shandon Street said the closure of the Post Office would be the nail in the coffin for the area commercially and for the community.
“The loss of the post office destroyed Blackpool village, you can say it is only down the road, but it’s like 10 miles to an 80 odd pensioner and that’s who comes into my shop, people collecting their pensions.”
Mr Nolan said that they were looking for someone on the street to take over the running of a postal service and they were meeting An Post this week to discuss the situation.
City Councillor Thomas Gould said Shandon Street and Blackpool are the two main streets in the north side of the city and we have already seen Blackpool post office being taken away.
“Like SARA I am calling for the 15% cuts to be reversed. My other worry that came up is that two doctors have left Shandon Street in the last two weeks.
“With the loss of two doctors and if you were to lose An Post, it could be tough for existing businesses.
“A lot of businesses are just hanging in there and these are three things that bring a lot of footfall to the area.
“I would be worried for other commercial units that it would put them under pressure and also the big issue is that people are saying they can go to Blarney Street or North Main Street, but the thing is for elderly or limited mobility there is no bus connections and those people cannot be expected to walk halfway up Blarney Street or into town, so it is not fair on those people.”
Mr Gould said the loss of these vital services to the Shandon area would result in increased isolation for elderly people living locally.
“Some people only get out when they go to the doctor or the Post Office and there is a whole issue of isolation, people in the city can be just as isolated as people in the country if they don’t have anyone to talk with.
“The Government’s policy of trying to get people to do things online, might sound good economically, but from a community point of view and a personal point of view, it is a terrible thing, because those people have no one to talk to, to meet with and to discuss and it kills the community.”