Well-known Kinsale resident, Michael (Rocky) Crowley, called time on his 45-year-old career with An Post on Friday last, with friends and colleagues taking the opportunity to wish Michael all the best in his retirement, at a function at Sam’s Bar.
A popular figure among all those who encountered the quietly spoken postman, particularly those on his regular jaunt around Dunderrow, a daily route of 105 kilometres, Michael said: “I enjoyed my time as a postman, making so many friends along the way, I have been left with many great memories.”
Taking up employment in the Post Office, straight from completing his Leaving Certificate, as Michael commented himself, “I skipped down the Stoney steps from secondary school straight to a job in the Post Office in 1974.”
Joining the then postal team, which included Post Master Michael O’Donovan, Willie O’Connell, Jerry Collins, Jim Healy and Pa O’Donovan, initially he spent a number of years as a relief postman, which included spells in the town, Belgooly, Riverstick and Carrigaline, before finally securing the Dunderrow route.
Reflecting on his tenure in the job, Michael said: “Over the past number of years there has been significant changes in the role, with an explosion in the parcel delivery business and an obvious decline in the number of letters delivered, as letter writing has become the preserve of a generation that are no longer with us.”
However, he emphasised the important role the postman plays in rural life, interacting with people who otherwise have no opportunity for social interaction on a daily basis.
Indeed, he was often asked to deliver more than just a letter, when customers along his route ran out of milk, bread and the newspaper, or if they wanted to pass a message to the neighbours along the route.
On one occasion he was asked to deliver two dresses, arriving at the house there was no one at home so he hung them on the clothes line. Later, the lady of the house returned and thought a good Samaritan had done her washing and hung it out on the line.
During his tenure he’d many other tales, limiting the number of bites from the local dogs to three, missing the hold-up at Kinsale Post Office in the ‘80s as he was on a later run, reflecting on how a parcelled up alarm clock left mistakenly by a customer in the ‘70s at the post office had resulted in the army bomb squad being sent to the town.
Finbarr Lyonsa friend and colleague, who has spent over 25 years’ service with An Post said: “Michael was great to work with, very honest, always great craic, showed me the ropes and he will be missed by us all.”