People are being urged to put pen to paper to save Aughavas Post Office.
It was standing room only in the Aughavas Community Centre tonight as well over 100 people in the small parish turned out for a public meeting aimed at securing the future of their local post office.
The pub housing the local post office and shop, recently sold and the current post mistress has expressed a desire to retire. While it had been hoped that the new owner of McCaffrey's Pub would be able to continue the post office service, An Post have put the future of the service out to public consultation.
Speaking to the Leitrim Observer last week, a spokesperson for An Post acknowledged that the outcome may involve the closure of the service in Aughavas.
A major campaign has been launched to try and save the service. At tonight's meeting Sligo/Leitrim TD and local resident, Deputy Martin Kenny said that it was vital people participate in the consultation process and write letters to secure the future of the post office.
"We have to let An Post and the Minister know that we're not going to let this go, that we're looking for at least a year to be able to build up the business, to see how it goes. We need this service," he said.
Cllr Paddy O'Rourke said it was up to everyone to fight for the future of Aughavas Post Office but he observed that, if the Government was truly committed to rural renewal, then "saving Aughavas Post Office, saving a vital rural service, would be a good place to start".
Sinn Féin Councillor, Caroline Mulvey urged the community to "get their fighting spirit out".
"We have to fight hard for this. We have to make lots of noise and everyone needs to make sure they are heard," she told the meeting.
Meeting organiser and founder of the Save Aughavas Post Office facebook page, Terry Williams, asked that a delegation of local residents be formed to meet with An Post Management to plead the case for keeping the local post office open.
A delegation of four people has been selected and they will now meet with An Post as part of the consultation process.
The people of Aughavas are also calling on the wider community to get behind the service noting that this situation is a fate which could face any rural community.
A line needs to be drawn in the sand to save rural services, they said.
You can view the facebook page here.
Making a submission
The closing date for written submissions on the future of Aughavas Post Office is February 17, 2017.
Post your letters outlining why Aughavas Post Office should be saved to:
Retail Operations Manager
See this week's Leitrim Observer for full coverage of this campaign.