The Irish postal service An Post has demanded that a rural postmistress pay them back €80,000 (£67,000) following a robbery in which a gun was held to her head.
Bernie Moore, postmistress of Carrigans post office in Co Donegal for the last 30 years, has also lost her job after An Post claimed she had not followed security procedures.
Mrs Moore was the victim of the robbery in February 2009 when a gun was aimed at her head and three men forced her to hand over the tens of thousands of euros from the post office safe.
After the robbery An Post informed Mrs Moore they wanted the money back and told her they were terminating her contract.
A statement issued by An Post said: “While we do not wish to comment on an individual case we can confirm that the issue in Carrigans involved ongoing failure to implement basic security arrangements. For this reason we terminated the contract of our postmistress in Carrigans.
“These security measures are in place for the protection of post office staff and customers. Failing to implement these measures puts all post office staff and customers at risk.”
Mrs Moore, a mother-of-three, said: “I have never had any problems before and it was never brought to my attention that any of my practices were wrong.
“This decision is very unfair. I had a gun pointed at my head in the robbery and it was an awful experience. I love my job, so I am devastated I have to leave. My customers don’t want me to go and I am just heartbroken.”
Mrs Moore is now left wondering how she will pay back the money taken.
“I did receive a letter at the beginning of the process demanding the money back within seven days. Now I don’t know what is happening, I don’t have it to give,” she said.
“I am the breadwinner of the family at the moment and we have three teenage girls to provide for.”
John Kane, acting general secretary of the Irish Postmasters’ Union, said: “In the context of the raid, this is unfair and wholly unreasonable. Nothing Bernie did on the morning of the raid could have changed the outcome.”