For the second time in only a month, the threat of closure looms large over a South Kilkenny post office.
Last month it was Glenmore, and now it is Mullinavat Post Office's future that hangs in the balance. The postmistress is preparing to retire in the coming weeks, and it's not yet known if someone will take over and if the service will continue.
Local councillor Fidelis Doherty confirmed the news today, and says there is a sense of shock in Mullinavat.
"The postmistress has been a great servant to the community," she told the Kilkenny People.
"It's a shock - there's disbelief that it's happening. There's a community here, and there's not much time to prepare.
"It would be a huge loss to the community, and Mullinavat has a big population. The nearest [other post office] would be Kilmacow, and after the only other post offices are in Ferrybank, and then in New Ross."
Cllr Doherty said there are a number of criteria that have to be met to allow a new person to take over and continue the service. She says it may be an opportunity for someone willing to step in, but An Post will assess its viability, among other considerations.
Last month, the Kilkenny People revealed that Glenmore Post Office was under threat with another postmistress preparing to retire, and uncertainty over whether she could be replaced. Over 150 people attended a public meeting to discuss the matter, and now the community is waiting to hear what is happening.
The potential closures are being prompted by a voluntary severance package being offered to postmasters/postmistresses, who have until July 31 to signal their intentions.
After the July 31 deadline, An Post says it will be in a position to address the situation regarding what will happen with Glenmore Post Office.
Two years ago, quick-thinking members of the public helped foil a robbery at Mullinavat Post Office, when a man held it up using an imitation firearm. He was apprehended, and last year given a prison sentence.
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