Banteer Postmaster retires after 44 years

Banteer Post Office

Banteer Postmaster Tom Hartnett selling a book of Stamps to Lily Buckley who was one of his final customers on Saturday before the Post Office closed for good.

Photos by Sheila Fitzgerald.

Banteer Post Office

Mary Cahill making a presentation to Tom Hartnett, on behalf of the various community organisations in Banteer, with Rory O’ Driscoll, Denis Withers and Fr. William Winter PP.

Banteer Post Office

Postmaster Tom Hartnett powering down his Computer for the final time before Banteer Post Office closed for good last Saturday.

Banteer Post Office

Adam Moynihan posting the last letter in Banteer at 1pm last Saturday before the Post Office closed.

Banteer Post Office

Tom with Eileen Twohig and Noreen Buckley who worked in the Shop.

Banteer Post Office

Tom pictured with his daughter Niamh, son in law Seán, grand daughter Maeve, brother Connie, sister Kathleen and niece Marie.

Banteer Post Office

Finbarr Kelly, Pat Cremin and Gearóid Creed from An Post making a presentation to Tom Hartnett on the occasion of his retirement as Postmaster in Banteer.

Photos by Sheila Fitzgerald

August 05 2021 03:10 PM

There were tears and smiles in Banteer on Saturday as locals recounted their many great memories from the 44 years Tom Hartnett ran the local Post Office and Shop. As Tom wound down the business for the final time with officials from An Post, a deluge of ‘Good Luck’ cards were dropped in the door.

Locals told The Corkman that Tom was always conscious of the welfare of others, especially the elderly. “If someone did not turn up for their pension at the usual time, he would check that they were ok or contact a relative,” they said.

Speaking on behalf of the community, Rory O’ Driscoll commended Tom for his many years of great service to everyone in Banteer and surrounding areas.

“It’s a sad day to think that our post office is closing and to know that there is no post office here or in any of our neighbouring villages, but today we are here to honour Tom for his outstanding contribution over the past 44 years.

“I know I speak for everyone here today when I say that Tom was always very generous with his time, very courteous, accommodating and helpful in every way. He has always generously given his time voluntarily, he is a valued member of the Community Council, he’s involved in the Glen Theatre and is of course a member of the Tidy Towns where his work can be clearly seen here around the Village. So Tom, on behalf of everyone in the Community, I wish you a long, healthy and happy retirement,” Rory said.

Banteer PP Fr. William Winter said that Tom was very helpful with all aspects of Post Office business and always very witty. “I wish you the very best in your retirement,” he said.

Speaking to The Corkman, Tom said that he was looking forward to his retirement and that he will “find plenty to do” going forward.

“We started here in 1977, my late wife Nina was the Postmistress and we had the shop as well. After Nina passed away suddenly 20 years ago, I took over the running of the Post Office side of things,” Tom explained. With the assistance of the late Cáit O’ Sullivan and more recently Noreen Buckley and Eileen Twomey, Tom’s shop remained open until 18 months ago.

In the next chapter, Tom will continue to keep Banteer beautiful through his great work with the Tidy Towns and he is looking forward to joining his many friends at the Glen Theatre once again as Covid restrictions continue to ease.