An Post 'hopeful' of appointing new postmaster in Blarney 'in the coming days'

A spokesperson for An Post told The Echo that the postal service is "dealing with a firm proposal and [is] hopeful of appointing a new contractor in the coming days".
An Post 'hopeful' of appointing new postmaster in Blarney 'in the coming days'

Locals at the save Blarney post office protest earlier this month. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

An Post has said it is hopeful that a new postmaster can be appointed for Blarney Post Office "in the coming days".

A spokesperson for An Post told The Echo that the postal service is "dealing with a firm proposal and [is] hopeful of appointing a new contractor in the coming days".

The current postmaster in Blarney is due to finish their contract at the end of the month and An Post had until now experienced difficulty in securing a new postmaster, advertising the vacancy three times, with the most recent deadline for applications expiring on Thursday May 12.

Pádraig O’Sullivan, Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central, posted on Facebook that the deal was "99% there".

"Great news regarding Blarney Post Office," Deputy O'Sullivan wrote. 

"An offer has been made and subject to the acceptance of that, the service in [Blarney] will continue as normal."

Thomas Gould, Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, said he understood “things are looking very positive”, and the development could be credited to a public protest organised by Sinn Féin last week, at which some 80 local people showed their support for Blarney Post Office.

“For the first two times that this was advertised, no one came forward and it wasn’t until we held a public meeting and had a rally that people came forward, and now one person is at a very advanced stage of negotiations with An Post,” Deputy Gould said.

However, Deputy O’Sullivan said that while protest had its place, what he described as “this success” had only come about through negotiations.

Deputy Gould said that what had happened in Blarney showed what could be achieved when a community came together to defend local services, and he cautioned that "at least 200" post offices are in danger of closing, with postmasters due to retire or deciding that their current contracts are unsustainable.

"The negotiations that are ongoing between An Post and the postmasters' union need to be finalised, because until they are finalised, the long-term future of all of our post offices will not be secure," the Sinn Féin TD said.

Mick Barry, Socialist TD for Cork North Central, said it was a victory for people power. "The people of Blarney have done very well to keep this issue on the boil and I urge them to keep the pressure on until this thing gets over the line," Deputy Barry said.

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