SPEAKING prior to the news from a source on Wednesday that the now shut post office in Enniskillen town centre is expected to reopen imminently, locals aired their frustrations that a new town centre location for the invaluable service had not yet been found.

With the long-term future of the post office yet to be revealed following the news of the temporary reprieve for the community hub, now expected to be open until early next year, concerns remain over the potential location of a new premises, or its possible permanent closure in the new year, both of which remain unknown at this time.

Deborah Irwin lives in Barbara Court, which is within easy walking distance of the post office’s current location at Townhall Street.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter last week about the then imminent closure, she said: “We have a lot of elderly people that are in wheelchairs, mobility scooters, all [living in Barbara Court], and if the Post Office doesn’t work out what it’s going to do, this will be very unkind to those people to go away down to the 24-hour shop to get their electric and their phone top-ups.”

She believes the Post Office has been aware of the issues around closing the Enniskillen town centre branch for “long enough” and the issue of its relocation needs to be permanently resolved: “They need a shake-up, they need to ... make a decision and get it sorted.”

If there is no permanent town centre replacement for the post office branch, Deborah says her fellow residents of Barbara Court will have to go to the 24-hour shop, which is a further distance to walk.

“It’ll impact me, because it’s a right wee walk, and it’s the same for the ladies in wheelchairs. In bad weather, it’s going to be hard for them to go down, too.

“It’s not fair on them. It’s not fair on the elderly people. It’s not fair on myself. I’d like them [the Post Office] to get it sorted out,” she told The Impartial Reporter.

Local business owners will also be impacted by the post office branch’s closure, if a permanent home is not confirmed.

Speaking on Tuesday before news emerged of an imminent reprieve, Shauna Gallagher raised her concerns for the future of the post office branch.

The owner of the Natural Beauty Pot sells products online, using the local postal service for delivery to her customers.

With the post office’s location at the Diamond in Enniskillen, it meant that she could easily nip up from her shop in the Buttermarket at her convenience.

However, with no new permanent town centre location on the cards for the service, Shauna will have to reconsider her post run, if a permanent solution is not resolved.

“For me, I could do a post run every day; I can do that when the post office is up the town. [But if] they move, I will physically have to take my stuff in a car, so it’s not really convenient.

The next closest post office to Shauna’s business is not within easy walking distance, considering that she would be carrying parcels, should the town centre branch permanently close after its expected reopening, as claimed by the source.

“It means I’m going to have to physically go and get the car, bring the car over, load it up and go,” she told this newspaper.