I am saddened to hear of the imminent closure of Knockvicar post office in north Roscommon which is run by Cathal and Anne Beirne. The closure is yet another blow to rural Ireland which has seen the post office network fall from 1,111 offices to 950 nationwide, as a results of talks between the IPU and An Post over restructuring plans for the postal network.

A voluntary retirement package was included as part of that overall future plan for the postal service with 161 postmasters applying for it – unfortunately this will see many members of the community, particularly the elderly, lose their only point of contact with their friends and neighbours on a weekly if not daily basis and that is sad to see.

An Post have stated that it would stand by commitments that communities with populations of over 500 people would have a post office, and 95 per cent of the population would always be within 15km of at least one post office. I am hoping that they will stand by their promise.