At the heart of every community there are the building blocks that make life so much easier; the doctor, the school, the shop, and of course the local post office. However, Blarney Post Office, like so many throughout the country, could be under serious threat. Local postmasters, including local woman Marguerite Linehan in Blarney, are concerned about the threat caused to post offices should Government divert welfare payments to banks (despite An Post winning the latest tender), and An Post partnering with Tesco to develop an alternative network that could potentially wipe out local post offices. If the post office is lost, the heart of the community will be gone and the social impact will be devastating. Local postmasters are currently campaigning for a Government action plan that will deliver on their commitment to post offices made in their programme for Government. Marguerite, Louise, Barbara and Veronica offer a vast array of services at Blarney Post Office, many of which you may not even realise are available; Social welfare payments, and the cashing of social welfare cheques. Mail; normal, registered, swift, DHL Billpay for all your household bills, either in full or in part payments made when it suits you Savings from everyday to long term investment AIB lodgements and withdrawals Insurance through One Direct Western Union and Forex Garda fines and gun licence applications One for All gift cards Like most post office staff they regularly go above and beyond their remit and can be seen sellotaping parcels, helping people fill out forms such as bereavement forms and social welfare applications, setting up billpay systems for people to help them budget, and running after post vans! Your local post office also has monthly promotions, for example this month they are offering half price zoo tickets and reduced price premiership match packages so it pays you to keep an eye on their window Blarney Post Office stocks a fabulous range of cards and stationery for your convenience, and acts as the unofficial tourist office as it often seems to be the first port of call for visitors to look for directions and answers! Marguerite, who has lived in the area for 33 years and feels passionately about the village, moved to the new premises at Blarney Shopping Centre over two years ago and spent a considerable amount of money upgrading the premises to give Blarney the state of the art post office is now has. But, like everything, we need to use what we have or risk losing it. So, where ever your local post office may be, maybe it’s time we all started using some of the excellent services they offer – before it’s too late.