Despite local opposition over the past month, An Post has confirmed this week that Co Longford is set to lose three post offices under a deal worked out between the company and the Irish Postmasters' Union.
Carrickboy, Cloonagh and Colehill will all lose their services in the coming weeks as they are in locations where the postmasters have opted to retire.
An Post says that the services will be consolidated with neighbouring offices in an effort to ensure their continued viability.
However service users in the Colehill/Carrickboy area are particularly impacted as they are set to loses both of their local post offices.
They will now have to travel to ether Ardagh or Ballymahon to avail of post office services in the future.
Cllr Mick Cahill (FF) who represents the area in which Colehill and Carrickboy post offices will close said that while the move was evidential of the erosion of rural services, unless local people started using the services provided by their local post offices, then more would close in the future.
“Of course these closures are a huge loss to the community; it’s the loss of more rural services and in particular elderly people will be impacted by this,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is, though, that if people do not want to see their local post offices closing, then they need to start using them.”
Cllr Cahill’s council colleague and postmaster himself, Cllr Micheál Cariggy made the same calls recently when he spoke to the Leader about the imminent closures.
“Nobody was forced to take the redundancy package that was on offer - I didn’t take it and the fact is that my wage has been reduced as a postmaster because there has been a huge drop in those receiving unemployment benefits,” he said before pointing out that scenario pointed to an ever improving economy.
“Going forward, people need to use the post office or lose it; people need to go to their local post office and do business in it.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Cahill paid tribute to the families who had run both post offices in his area with efficiency and dedication to the community over many years.
“I want to thank them for the great service they have given to the people of Carrickboy and Colehill,” he said.
“I also want to thank them for all they have given to the community over the years.”