COMMUNITY

Tipperary postmistress puts her community first as she opts out of retirement to ensure post office remains open

Catherine couldn't bear to see Newcastle post office closed

Michael Heverin

Reporter:

Michael Heverin

Tipperary postmistress puts her community first as she opts out of retirement to ensure post office remains open

Catherine McCarra withdrew her redundancy package application to ensure Newcastle post office remained open

A rural Tipperary postmistess has said she wouldn't have been comfortable in retirement if it meant the closure of the the local post office.

Newcastle post office will now remain open after postmistress Catherine McCarra withdrew her redundancy package to ensure that her beloved village wouldn’t be left without such a vital service.

Despite not being in the best of health last year - the only reason she wanted to opt out of the business - Catherine has now decided to put the community first.

“I am staying on in the interest of the community and to help keep rural Ireland alive”, says Catherine who will have total family support as she remains on in business.

“We have had a post office in Newcastle for  120 years and I didn't want to be the person to turn the key on it for the last time.

“I turned down the redundance package because we had to keep the office open. I certainly wouldn't have been comfortable in my retirement if it had closed”.

Catherine has been running the post office for 43 years as a family enterprise.

“It has always been about service to the community and I want to continue that.

“A post office is a very important part of any community and I am fearful for rural Ireland if it continues to lose such services”, she says.

Catherine says she has received a hugely positive reponse from the Newcastle community to keep the office open and she is very thankful for that.

But now the community must become engaged in fighting to retain all such vital services.

“Newcastle is a great village and we have every service we need and I think we deserve some recognition for the work we are doing to keep the community alive”, she remarks.

Local TD Mattie McGrath has praised the 'spirited response' of  Mrs McCarra to remain in business and ensure the post office's survival.

 It has been due to close on January 31 after which Ardfinnan would have been the nearest post office for local people.

The independent TD also paid tribute to the work of the Newcastle Save Our Post Office Committee and added that the decision to keep the office open marks an important need for the wider community to get behind the  post office and to embrace a real and meaningful ‘use it or lose it’ approach.

He added - “We have shown in this instance that when a community comes together to protect its services, great results can follow. 

“We can all celebrate this marvellous news as a significant step in our efforts to rejuvenate and revive our community”.