A resident of one of Enniskillen’s sheltered housing complexes has hit out at the closure of the post office in Enniskillen town centre last month.

Deborah Irwin spoke to this newspaper as she expressed concerns regarding access to services for those who live in sheltered housing.

Closed despite speculation

Deborah is a resident of Barbour Court, but expressed concerns for other residents in her complex as well as those who reside in West Bridge House over on the West side of Enniskillen.

Deborah said: “The post office is still closed despite speculation it was to open again. I have walked past and seen them clearing out the shop.”

She expressed concern for those who use the post office service for essential reasons such as paying for electric or topping up a mobile phone.

One of the benefits of a post office on the High street was ease of access. Deborah explained why this ease of access was so important to the residents of Barbour Court and others who live in Enniskillen town centre.

She said: “A lot of our people are on mobility scooters, or they are on walking frames. To walk to Chanterhill or Cornagrade is too far, and a taxi to out there will cost a fortune.

“I’m just trying to fight for the people who live in Enniskillen. I have contacted politicians and nobody seems to know anything.”

It is evident that Deborah cares about her fellow residents as she says: “I just can’t let the wee people walk from here out the road. It’s too far for them to be going.”

Deborah also raised concerns regarding the availability of local amenities due to the closure of the shop.

She said: “A few people have been asking different drivers or visitors to bring them the newspapers or the TV guides as they can’t get them in the town centre.”

When asked if she had a message for Post Office and how the situation is being handled, Deborah said: “Look, it is a total disgrace, you’re [Post Office] only thinking of yourselves. It is a total and absolute disgrace the way the people of Enniskillen are being treated.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Rosemary Barton emphasised the deep frustration in the community at the closure of the post office in Enniskillen town centre.

Mrs. Barton said: “It appears that Post Office has been aware of the closure of the premises for some time; there appears to have been confusion about the relocation, and we are now left without the facility in the centre of the town.

“I have been in contact with a Post Office representative, where I actually suggested the option of a temporary full-time mobile post office unit in the town centre until a new [permanent post office] location can be put in place. I am awaiting a response.

“I am also aware that councillors have also held a meeting with the Post Office representative.

‘Confusion and frustration’

“While I appreciate that relocating the post office is not always an easy process, the confusion and frustration that the handling of this has caused has been a poor public relations exercise for Post Office.”

The Impartial Reporter asked Post Office for an update on Enniskillen’s High Street post office. In response, a Post Office spokesperson said: “We regret that Enniskillen’s post office closed on August 24 due to the resignation of the postmaster. We know how much a local community relies on Post Office services and we are actively seeking a temporary solution for the branch.

“In the meantime, customers are advised to use Cornagrade Road Post Office, which is open Monday to Friday between 8am and 7pm, or Chanterhill Post Office, open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, and on Saturdays between 9am and 1pm.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused to customers who have usually visited the Enniskillen [town centre] branch.”