An Post is to offer a new contract for the provision of post office services at Ardnaree, near Ballina in Co Mayo. 

There was a significant local response to a consultation process on the future of the service there, which was started after the serving postmaster signalled his intention to retire later this year. 
Around 120 submissions were made by local residents, businesses and organisations in recent weeks. Fears over the future of the post office also led to a protest march and a petition, calling for the retention of services. 

Locals had been concerned that the relative proximity to the main post office in Ballina would be used as a defence for a withdrawal of services from Ardnaree.

An Post says that having considered all submissions and examined the business case for the office, it plans to advertise for a new contractor in the coming weeks.

The location of the office will be determined as part of this process but it will have to be located at or near to the existing provider.

The company says there will be a seamless transition when the serving postmaster retires and the successful applicant begins the two year contract. 

An ongoing review of the post office network means that An Post assesses the business case for contract based services each time they conclude or when a contract holder retires.

 At present, three other reviews under way in counties Sligo, Kerry and Cork.