Ardee Post Office will leave Ardee’s Market Street this weekend – after 89 years in a number of locations on the main street – as it relocates to Lanney’s Super Valu on the Ashwalk.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie, Ardee postmaster Michael Farrelly confirmed the move was taking place this coming weekend, sooner than initially expected.
The post office on Market Street will close at the end of business on Friday (January 5th) and reopen in Lanney’s SuperValu at 10am on Monday morning (January 8th). It will be closed this Saturday to facilitate the move.
The move also sees a change to the regular opening hours at Ardee Post Office. The new outlet will now be open all day on Thursdays, while it will now close at 1pm on Saturdays.
“I would like to apologise for the unfortunate inconvenience,” Farrelly said, ahead of Saturday’s move. “These unforseen circumstances mean some people won’t be able to access postal services this coming Saturday, due to our closure to move to our new location.”
The move to relocate the Ardee Post Office has been in progress for several months now and a deal between Farrelly and Super Valu proprietor Paul Lanney has been verbally agreed for a lengthy period.
Both parties have now concluded the process of negotiating a deal with which see the post office services and staff relocate to within the supermarket. The new post office will be located between the main supermarket and the bookshop and stationery outlet, located to the left of the main entrance.
The An Post outlet will retain all current services and no streamlining of services or staff will take place. It was initially hoped that the move could take place as early as November 2017 but that was soon found to be an unworkable. A New Year move was expected but even Farrelly admits this is sooner than even he had expected.
Farrelly will celebrate 30 years as Ardee Postmaster in 2018. The role of Postmaster is a tradition for the family. He took over the reigns in 1988 from his father, Sean Farrelly, who himself succeeded his father, James.
Speaking to ThisIsArdee.ie in August,he said the number of people coming in and doing their business in person is dwindling and that has a knock-on effect on he and his staff.
“It’s dying,” he told us. “Unfortunately, people don’t realise this is the case until it’s gone. They don’t realise we’re paid on a commission base and social welfare is 90% of our business. We’re paying three staff and I’m getting nothing, I’m paying it out of my own pocket to keep the place.
“Nothing can save it. Social welfare is the main thing. They’re on about the new smart card, but that means you can pick up payments at any post office. You swipe the card and the computer will put the money on your card.
“People can pick it up anywhere – but I only get paid in they come into me. That’s pensions, dole, everything. Unfortunately, the new pensioners coming up now are bankers. They’re into banks and computers and when they get to the pension age, they get it paid into the bank.
“We’re struggling,” he continued. “You still like to hold onto it as long as you can – but to be appreciated by An Post and the people.
“People come in and say “Ah, they wouldn’t close you down” but they don’t realise you don’t have the funds in the bank. You can’t keep paying out what you haven’t got.”