Rural Ireland – Death by a Thousand Cuts – Brosna Sorting Office Closed

Denise Brosnan collecting the final mail from the Brosna sorting office attached to Brosna Post Office from Postwoman, Eileen Enright on Friday morning with: Kathleen Connolly, Sally Murphy, Catherine Lenihan and Postman, John Cronin. ©Photograph: by John Reidy

If you believe that the death of rural Ireland is being hastened by the proverbial thousand cuts you can add the latest removal of a local service in the village of Brosna to your list.

Friday morning marked the last occasion of the operation of the local sorting office attached to the village Post Office.

Nail in the Coffin

Locals are well aware that the latest government / An Post double act is just another nail in the coffin of their locality – and by extension – a blow to rural living everywhere.

Letters and parcels have been brought to Brosna by bycycle, horse and trap with bells and eventually by motorised transport over a span of 75 years.

Peace and Quiet

The Post Office service, which continues in the village, was set up there in the early 1930s.

Back then, two Tralee men were ‘posted’ there. One of the men, Jeremiah O’Shea, fell in love with a local woman, Lena Casey and settled there; the other man ran out of it because of the peace and quietness of the place.

A Social Event

The abolition of the sorting office in Brosna brings yet another social event in the village to an abrupt end.

People of the locality gathered there in the morning and collected their mail at the door of the tiny office as the postmen and now postwomen sorted away facing and filling their respective pigeon-holes.

Good News and Bad

The folklore of village life going back all those years is so wrapped around and through the postmen who spent their working lives there and on the roads of the locality while bringing news good and bad as they went.

Jeremiah O’Shea retired in 1976 after 44 years service and he was the first of a line of postmen which included: Tom Brosnan, Bill ‘Kerry’ O’Connor, Davy Lynch, Laurence O’Connor, John Joe Curtin, James Stack, Brendan Downey, Eamonn Scannell and John Cronin.

Role of Shopkeeper

Postmaster Micheál Murphy took over the post from his father Michael and he also took on the role of local shopkeeper when the last shop in the village, that run by Terry and Marie Fay, closed down in the spring of 2015.

The present day postmen, Eamonn Scannell and John Cronin will now have to travel close to 20 miles to Listowel to collect and sort their mail and bring it all back home to distribute it throughout their allocated areas around Brosna and Knocknagoshel.

Carbon friendly ? Hardly! Rural Ireland Friendly ? Certainly not!

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