The chief executive of An Post, David McRedmond, has called on the Government to offer more State services through post offices.
“There’s a harp above the door for a reason,” he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.
Post offices are a key area of Government services that is not being developed, Mr McRedmond said.
Political representatives were quick to make appeals when there was talk of a post office being closed, but where were they in terms of demanding that Government services be offered through post offices, he added.
According to Mr McRedmond, driving licences and motor tax are services that could be offered through post offices, as could PUP and other social welfare services now offered online which would reduce fraud.
Mr McRedmond also defended criticism on An Post for customs now being imposed on parcels coming from the UK and non EU countries.
An Post had tried to keep the handling fee as low as possible, but the problem was that the EU rules were “very anti-postal”, he said.
An Post was very keen to develop its own products – such as mortgages, and he believed that the service could continue to offer traditional services along with banking facilities.
“We think we can do both.”
Post offices had experienced a very difficult time during the pandemic, 99 per cent had remained open every working day, Mr McRedmond said.
“We might be the only service that can say that.”
It was very important to help everyone through this complex time, he added.