Kilmeaden Post Office to Close

Eoghan Dalton Reports
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Despite a lengthy campaign to keep going, it’s been confirmed Kilmeaden Post Office is to close this summer.
Its postmaster made the decision after discovering the office doesn’t fall under the criteria for a funding scheme designed to save Ireland’s rural post offices. The scheme, as set out by the Minister for Communications, will see €50 million pumped into the postal network.
Unfortunately the office in Kilmeaden does not qualify for supports, because it is located within 15km of other offices in Cleaboy, Portlaw, Tramore and Kilmacthomas. What also counted against it is that the area has less than 500 houses, the threshold to qualify for funding.
Kilmeaden Post Office had been the focus of intense local efforts, involving public meetings and protests, to ensure that residents in the village and beyond could maintain it as an outlet in the area’s Centra store.

Cllr John O’Leary (FF) described it a blow to the community. “A huge effort went in. We met with the directors of An Post on a number of occasions and we impressed upon them the hardship this would cause. It means now that people from Dunhill, Kill, Butlerstown and Fenor will have to travel over 10 miles to their nearest post office,” he said.
He noted too that campaigners were told if they could increase the number of transactions in the office, it would become economically viable and have a better chance of remaining open. This they did, but to no avail. Out of roughly 1,000 post offices, 681 will remain open and receive investment under Minister Denis Naughten’s plan.
“It’s again pressure on rural Ireland, to a certain extent. It’s discommoding people, taking money out of the local economy and it takes away the social event of people meeting,” Cllr O’Leary said.
It’s understood the Post Office will close by the end of July and people using it in the coming weeks will be asked which office they’d like to use in future to collect their entitlements.

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