Introducing Leap’s postmistress

kathleen-post-office

Posted on: 8th November, 2016

Category: Features

Contributor: Mary O'Brien

Above: Local business man Ger O’Sullivan pictured with Leap’s new postmistress Kathleen Woumans.

Sitting outside Ger’s Wild Atlantic Diner eating her lunch, Kathleen Woumans, the new and very proud postmistress of Leap village, shares her excitement with Mary O’Brien at her new position, while at the same time fielding off friendly cries of “hello local postmistress” from passing villagers. “Hello local publican”, “hello local shopkeeper” she calls back laughing to the people who have become her neighbours and friends since she first moved into Leap village “many moons ago”.

In recent years, Leap has been held up as a shining beacon of what community spirit can achieve. It houses the legendary music venue Connolly’s, has its very own scarecrow festival and a purpose built santa experience ‘Leapland’ – all of which brings thousands of visitors flocking to this little village every year. “It’s some village for one little village,” says Kathleen Woumans proudly.

Little surprise then that Leap made the news again recently with another good news story – the opening of its new post office. Local business man Ger O’Sullivan and Kathleen successfully applied to An Post for the contract to run the office when the opportunity arose in the summer. “The sudden closure of Leap post office two years ago came as a huge shock to the locality,” says Kathleen. “It’s been very difficult for older people in the community to manage without a post office, with many having to rely on friends, family and neighbours for lifts into Skibbereen.”

Originally from Belgium but with her roots very firmly set in Ireland now, Kathleen is passionate about her local community and throws herself into and behind any project that will contribute some good to her home village.

“I grew up in Antwerp during the seventies in a very social active environment,” she says. “Meetings, discussions and demonstrations about environmental and social issues…pedestrianising main city streets, preserving old buildings, providing meals and social outlets for the elderly and vulnerable people in our community so they could stay in their own homes and generally keeping communities alive and sustainable were very much part of my every day life growing up.

“This may be one of the reasons I feel so passionate about keeping local services, social outlets and traditions alive especially in small communities.”

Kathleen moved to Leap to open ‘All Things Nice’, a delicatessen, healthfood store and café, which was located in the building where Ger’s Atlantic Diner is today at what’s locally known as Bennett’s Corner.

Many of her customers became good friends, she raised her daughter Orla here and Leap became home.

When things got quiet, Kathleen closed the business and since then, she’s qualified as a homeopath, managed a café and worked as a carer. She was about to go back to college to get her FETAC qualification in caring for the elderly when the opportunity arose to run the post office.

“I love being a part of a community, meeting and knowing everyone and chatting to people, I just love it,” she says. “A village likes Leap needs a post office and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Leap Post Office will provide a number of additional services such as printing, binding and a lamination service in support of students and small businesses. The Post Office will also sell cards, stationary and small gifts made by local crafts people.

Whatever the service, one thing is certain – it will be service with a smile.

Leap Post Office is open Mon – Fri, 9am-5.30pm. Closed for lunch 1-2pm. Sat, 9-1pm.

Latest News Articles:

Doors open in newly revamped Schull Community College
West Cork aid worker forced to wade through snake-infested swamps to help support civilians fleeing war
New community building in Ballydehob nearing completion
Castletownbere Fisherman’s Co-op wins overall ‘Green Business of the Year’ award
Trinity exhibition honours West Cork botanist
3,000 people to attend events throughout Local Enterprise Week
€1m in funding sought for a new Air Ambulance
Quality Hotel Clonakilty West Cork Rally 2017
Time capsule burial in Clonakilty Credit Union
Age Friendly Towns Programme launched

Join us on Facebook

West Cork Flag Day Collections
in aid of Cork ARC Cancer Support House

Cork ARC Cancer Support House’s annual West Cork Flag Day collections are set to take place in Bandon on Friday 21st April and in Castletownbere, Bantry, Ballylickey, Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Kinsale and Macroom on Thursday 27th April, 2017.

Hilary Sullivan, Head of Fundraising / Corporate Affairs at Cork ARC Cancer Support House says: “Please remember on our annual Flag Day collection that all our collectors are volunteers, giving their time freely to raise funds and increase awareness about our cancer support services at our West Cork centre.” Acknowledging the ethos of volunteering being the driving force behind the charity’s work in the community, Hilary also says, “As all of the services at Cork ARC Cancer Support House in West Cork are supported by a large volunteer base, we hope that our volunteer collectors’ generosity of spirit will be rewarded by a warm reception from the public despite the difficult financial conditions experienced by so many people.”
... See MoreSee Less

19th April, 2017  ·  

ECCLES Hotel Glengarriff to host April 30th Wedding Showcase – Newly refurbished ballroom and bedrooms on show – Tasters of Chef Nick Davey’s delicious menus

ECCLES Hotel in Glengarriff has been helping guests to experience West Cork in all its serene beauty for over 250 years. And with the Eccles Team now being led by General Manager Aileen Hanley, that tradition is set to continue.

Aileen joins the historic West Cork Property from Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare where she held the position of Sales & Operations Manager. Firmly re-establishing the award-winning property, during her tenure, along with her husband Patrick (now Park Hotel Kenmare General Manager) Aileen plans to continue her success and work her magic at ECCLES Hotel, along with a dedicated team to bring it back to its former glory and re-establish its place in the local community.

Aileen and the team at ECCLES Hotel will host a wedding showcase on Sunday April 30th from 12 to 5pm. The showcase will present the refurbished Ilnacullin ballroom to couples. The ballroom which can comfortably host up to 320 guests, will be set up in all its splendour to help couples visualise their wedding reception at ECCLES Hotel. Some of the hotel’s newly refurbished bedrooms with stunning bay views will also be available to view on the day.

Rose O’Sullivan, wedding coordinator at ECCLES Hotel said, “As well as larger weddings ECCLES Hotel is a wonderful venue for more intimate wedding celebrations too as well as civil ceremonies and blessings. Couples can come and see all we have to offer and enjoy a prosecco and canape reception at the showcase, to give them a flavour of our delicious new wedding fare by Head Chef Nick Davey.”

For more information visit www.eccleshotel.com, call 027 63003 or email weddings@eccleshotel.com
... See MoreSee Less

19th April, 2017  ·  

Clonakilty Cruinniú na Cásca event

As part of the “Cruinniú na Cásca” initiative, Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage has organised a complimentary guided historical walk of Clonakilty town starting at 12.00 noon at the Michael Collins statue on Easter Monday.

The event is totally free and the walk will be led by Dúchas Clonakilty Heritage committee member, Fachtna McCarthy.
... See MoreSee Less

13th April, 2017  ·  

The Peninsula Players' stage their new play "The Cripple of Inishmaan" on April 28th & 29th in the Beara Bay Castletownbere. Tickets at the door. Unsuitable for younger audiences. Not for the faint-hearted! ... See MoreSee Less

10th April, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top