Glowing tributes were paid to those who have spent decades working in the post office on Creeslough Main Street as they closed the doors for the last time this evening. Grace née Lafferty Cannon has been post mistress for twenty-seven years and today marked an end of an era for her and her sister Anne Marie née Lafferty Ryan who also spent decades working in the main street institution. The post office building dates back to 1890.
The Lafferty family have held a pivotal role in the postal services in the community for over a century. Grace and Anne Marie's grandparents, Grace Lafferty worked in the post office as did Agnes Lafferty whose anniversary was marked this morning, May 13.
Annette Lafferty who will work in the new post office will mark the sixth generation of postal workers, in the Creeslough community, of the Lafferty family.
Today was an emotional day for all those associated with the main street post office. Everyone who called in were sad to see an end come to the main street institution and Grace knew everyone by name and enjoyed speaking to them. Her son Oisin, a well known man in sporting circles, was giving customers free teas, coffees, buns and sandwiches.
"We could not ask for a better community than Creeslough. When the Dunfanaghy post office closed around three years ago and the community started coming here and they are a fantastic community too," Grace said.
Grace and Anne Marie both agreed it was an emotional day for them. They and Catherine, who works in the post office, have been to the fore at all important family occasions - them being the first port of call for many families during celebrations and sad times.
"I have seen all the changes," Grace said adding that during the pandemic many people have moved home to Creeslough which she loves to see.
Her son Michael is in Abu Dhabi and her daughter, Aoife is in New York while her son Shaun lives in Letterkenny with his wife Lorna and have two beautiful children, Robyn, 5, and Erin, ten months.
Grace and Anne Marie both agree that one of the occasions they enjoyed the most was Christmas eve. They would open half day and the community would be in great spirits. They also had a post box where the children could send their letters to Santa Clause and would be delighted when he replied to each child individually. The children certainly didn't forget the positive role the main street post office had in their hearts and sent the ladies beautiful handmade cards to mark the closure on the main street.
"The older people love the post office. They come here and enjoy the banter with us and one another," Grace said.
Grace recalls that in the begining there were 3 post men working from the post office. This changed in the last decade when Letterkenny became the central point for many of the services. Grace also recalled in earlier years the mail would arrive at 6.50am. The telephone exchange was also in the building and the family would have to rise at all hours of the day and night to send calls through to members of the community. The system was automated in the 80's.
People from across the community came out today to show their heartfelt respect, gratitude and appreciation for the work that has been carried out in the main street post office for over a century. The post office has now moved but will remain in the community where Annette Lafferty will take over the reigns of the family business.
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