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Public Rally To Save Existing Footfall On Liberty Square

New premises to which An Post is expected to set up shop.

The ‘Stop the Move – Save our Square’ action committee here in Thurles have announced their intention to hold a public rally; same to take place on Friday morning, March 29th next.

The rally will start at 11.00am on Friday morning; with protesters first assembling in the area of the Parnell Street Car Park. Those attending will then make their way out onto Liberty Square, following a route around the Square, before halting outside the current An Post offices.

An Post has repeatedly proclaimed their now existing work premises in Liberty Square as not being ‘fit for purpose’ and also that it would not be financially cost effective to undertake any necessary renovation.

An Post representatives also informed the ‘Stop the Move – Save our Square’ action committee, on Wednesday last, at what was described by the latter as “a disappointing meeting”, that a lease agreement had already been signed to rent their new premises; same having been already selected 500 metres away in the Thurles shopping centre.

The organisers are encouraging as many people as possible to come out in force for this rally, thus sending a message to An Post officials that remaining businesses wish the An Post office to remain at its present location, attracting continued footfall in the town centre area.

A post of Minister for Posts and Telegraphs initially took on the responsibility for Ireland’s postal and telecommunications services for some 60 years, from 1924 right up until 1984. One of the largest civil service departments in the Irish State at its apex; attempts to reform this sector were began in 1978, with the creation of a Posts and Telegraphs Review Group.

Following the delivery of a report from the latter in 1979, same then led to the creation of An Bord Poist, then chaired by Mr Feargal Quinn, and An Bord Telecom, then chaired by Mr Michael Smurfit. Both entities continued to trade until they were replaced in 1984, as state-sponsored agencies.

Its powers and responsibilities were transferred to the newly created Department of Communications. This was one of the largest reorganisations of the civil service in modern times, the old department having had a workforce of some 30,000 employees prior to its dissolution. With the transfer of personnel to the new agencies, the number of civil service employees were almost halved overnight.

Thus An Post, our Irish postal administration, first came into being in 1984 when, under the terms of the Postal & Telecommunications Services Act of 1983, the Post Office services of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (P&T) were divided between An Post and Telecom Eireann; with the telecommunications operator today known as Eir.

Thurles Post Office moved once before, previously having existed on the south side or ‘Money Side’ in that building known today (2019) as The County Bar, before moving across the road to the north side; where it is presently located on the ‘Sunny Side’.

The positioning of Thurles Post Office during the latter half of the 1800’s, in the then Main Street of Thurles, now renamed Liberty Square.

It was at its present location that, in 1902, the great, late General Richard (Dick) Mulcahy joined the post office’s engineering department, working first here in Thurles. Elected to the First Dáil in the 1918 General Election for Dublin / Clontarf, Mulcahy was appointed Minister for Defence in the new (alternative) government and later to the post of Assistant Minister for Defence. In March 1919 he became IRA chief of staff, a position he held until January 1922. It was he, who together with Michael Collins, was instrumental in developing IRA military strategy against the British, during the War of Independence.
General Richard Mulcahy of course was buried following his death (16th December 1971) in Ballymoreen Cemetery, Littleton, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

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