Brexit forces Blacklion postmistress to bow out

Stepping down.. Dymphna Stewart of Blacklion Post Office

Stepping down.. Dymphna Stewart of Blacklion Post Office

Dymphna Stewart is preparing for her last Christmas as the village postmistress in Blacklion.

News that she will step down from the role in the New Year due to the implications of Brexit has come as a blow to the small Cavan community. 
Ms Stewart says that the volume of business in the busy store-cum-post office has halved since the EU referendum in June due to fluctuations in the value of sterling. 
“Very shortly after Brexit you could see custom dwindling away,” she told the Herald this week.
“You can’t blame people who are feeding a family and can get great deals elsewhere – that’s obviously where they are going to go.
The big supermarkets across the border can put on amazing offers that a small shop like ours could never compete with.”  
The next nearest post office services are both seven miles away with An Post in Glenfarne, Co. Leitrim or Royal Mail in Belcoo.
Dymphna will finish up on February 14th after ten years and is unsure what her next step will be.    
“This has been a very long and hard decision as I have done all that I can to try and make the business work.
Nobody wants to make themselves redundant but the situation is no longer feasible for me.
When you pay all the rates out of your wages, you’re working for next to nothing and that’s no longer practical,” she explained. 
Cavan-based Fianna Fail Councillor, John Paul Feeley said the postmistress has “provided an excellent service and will be missed in the local community”.
He is appealing to people to use their local services. 
“From the local post office to the shop or butcher shop, if local communities do not support it then they cannot complain about losing them.”
A spokesman from An Post said a public consultation process is currently underway.
“This is intended to help An Post arrive at a decision on how best to provide post office services to Blacklion in the future, this might include closure.
The consultation process closes on December 18th after which we will make a decision to advertise the contract to provide a post office in Blacklion or not.”

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