An Post has confirmed that the closure of Kilcar Post Office will go ahead on June 29th, but a consultation period will remain in place after that date.
Earlier this week, following a public meeting in Kilcar, Deputies Pearse Doherty, Pat The Cope Gallagher, and Thomas Pringle wrote to An Post seeking an extension to the closing date so that meaningful submissions could be made.
However, Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher says the reply they received was cold, and raises fears that more post offices could be closed without warning in the future.
He says they'll be raising this in the Dail next week..............
Full text of An Post reply below....
21st June 2019
Many thanks for your letter in relation to Kilcar Post Office which will close on 29th June 2019 as a result of the retirement of our Postmaster.
To ensure the sustainability of the Post Office network and the continued provision of Post Office services to communities, An Post published a consultation document in April 2018 and the Company wrote to all TDs, public representatives, and interested bodies such as IFA, Chambers Ireland, and Irish Rural Link, inviting input into the document and Protocol before it was formally published in June 2018. At that stage we also reached an historic Agreement with the Irish Postmasters Union whereby An Post agreed to facilitate Postmasters who wished to retire, many after long years of service. This agreement was also underpinned by a new Vision for Post Office Services which was published early in 2018.
As you know, where a Postmaster retires, An Post assesses the future provision of Post Office Services for that community by reference to the attached Protocol on Post Office Services. This was designed to ensure that any settlement with over 500 people will continue to have a Post Office and that 95% of people will live within 15km of at least one Post Office in rural areas or 3km in urban areas. There will be no change to mail services to the area.
We recognise that the loss of service following the retirement of a Postmaster can bring challenges for local communities. Consequently we will work hard to ensure that where consolidation of services occurs, communities will continue to get an excellent service from An Post from a neighbouring Post Office and from any mainstream retailers who offer the PostPoint Services, which will include stamps, billpay, parcels, and other services.
In the case of Kilcar, customers will be catered for at Carrick Post Office and also at our office in Killybegs. This will have the added benefit of securing a viable and sustainable future for our other offices in the area.
We have also appointed 2 Independent Reviewers who can be requested to review An Post’s decisions in relation to the provision of Post Office Services for an area where a Postmaster is retiring, i.e. to determine if An Post have acted in accordance with the published service protocol
If you wish to have An Post’s decision in relation to future Post Office services in Kilcar assessed in line with the protocol you can apply to the Independent Review process to have the case assessed and An Post will have regard to the Assessors recommendations.
An application to have a decision assessed by the Independent Reviewer should be made by email or in writing to Review@anpost.ie or Independent Reviewer, An Post GPO, Dublin 1. The appeal should be submitted as soon as possible. I very much regret that it will not be possible to provide services at Kilcar after the 29th June. This does not, however, interfere with the review process in place here and every effort will be made to facilitate the local community in this regard.
Again thank you for your interest in this matter.
Public Affairs Manager