Irish Government to introduce “national postcode”

RTÉ reports that the Irish “Government has approved the introduction of a national postcode.” Although, as Wikidepia reveals, we’ve been here before. And more than once. But they seem to be serious this time. From the RTÉ report.

The Minister for Communications said tenders for the design and implementation of the system will be issued shortly. Minister Ryan said he expects new postal codes with digits and letters to be introduced in 2011.

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  • Only Asking

    This is a bit …. trivial

  • Reader

    Only Asking: This is a bit …. trivial
    Not really – wait and see!
    First issue – here in the north there was a bit of discussion about the use of ‘Townlands’ as an alternative to post codes, with a lot of strong local feeling in some areas. Are there likely to be similar issues in the Republic?

  • Only Asking

    Reader, its hard to get worked up about postcodes. A post code lottery in the NHS, certainly. A post strike and postal jobs – definitely. Closure of post offices – even, a post office robbery, painting red post boxes green, even the cost of a stamp going up along with everything else.

    I don’t expect a serious debate will take place on here about this, but you never know.

  • Greenflag

    The timing is brilliant . Just when the world and Ireland have moved to e-mail and post items are in relative decline ?.

    They should have done it back in the 1970’s when it might have made a difference.

  • About time.

    @Only Asking – this is not trivial.

    In a world of white vans scurrying around the streets and lanes delivering online purchases, the lack of a standard identifier is a real pain – for those delivering, and those not receiving.

    Folk won’t have to use them for all post – but at least they can identify their houses in a standard format that other people can recognise when it’s in their interests to receive something!

  • Only Asking

    Alan are you having serious problems with any of your deliveries to the republic? I’ve been posting to family in Dublin for a long time and stuff usually arrives there quicker than any thing I post to Britain. Makes you wonder how they managed upto now.

  • Pete Baker

    Only Asking

    If you think it’s trivial you should ask youself why it has taken so long for the Irish government to introduce a national postcode.

    On your concern about “a serious debate here”.

    Some background reading on the kit and the kaboodle.

  • slug

    Its long been common here in the UK if invited to a house party or a restaurant to be given the post code so you can google up a street map. Post Codes are useful.

    I suppose in Ireland they were thought unnecessary because it as such as small neighbourly country that the postman simply asked a local resident?

  • Coll Ciotach

    I hope these are the PON codes, speaking to the company in Cork about them a few weeks ago, they are very effective, much more accurate and versatile than the post codes we have up here and they have been working with Garmin for a while. Excellent news.

  • Reader, townland names here are being brought back into the official address database alongside postcodes.

  • Dave

    They have to do it by 2013, under EU plans to open postal markets (worth 85 billion euro within the 27 Member States) to competition from private service providers within the EU. Local monopolies (formerly national but now regions of the EU) such as An Post and the British Post Office must allow competition from other EU states (which is why the UK post office system has been butchered and plunged into a loss-making service from a profitable one as competition cherry-picked the profitable services leaving the State to pay for the essential but loss-making services), and why Ireland must harmonised on an alpha-numeric postcode system. Again, this is the government pretending that they make the policies when, in fact, the only decisions they make are about how to implement the policies that are made for them by their EU masters.

  • Only Asking

    Stop being so defensive pete, I’m not asking myself anything about it – as it doesn’t particularly interest me. If it interests others fine, and I’m not concerned about a serious debate here, you need to relax. I merely wrote my opinion, something Mick Fealty hasn’t outlawed on HIS blog….

  • Lack of postcodes was one of the first things that struck me on moving to Galway. The other was lack of house numbers in the sticks (or sometimes any signage whatsoever). Trying to explain to the airline company where to deliver my lost luggage was … interesting.

  • ersehole


    I expect that there will be trouble.

    On the cultural front any codes which ignore the ‘townland’ or baile will meet resistance. Also if english names are used exclusively e.g. Dublin instead of Baile Átha Cliath.

    The CWU will oppose it as it dilutes the value of their members’ local knowledge, and I suspect there will be a lot of techie arguments about satnavs and Google earth etc.

    Add to this the fact that Paddy doesn’t like being pinned down, terrible project management skills in the public service, and no money means that it has all the potential for a farce.

    So you can order in extra popcorn.

  • James Gallagher

    I can only recommend looking at PON Codes – – no need for tenders – I think they have done the work already!

  • The Lighthouse Keeper

    I agree with last poster. PON Codes are the way to go. Anything else is a wasted opportunity do things right. Codes based on National Grid co-ordinates also are not behoven to placenames unlike the awful example of ATH123 given in the press release. The codes on the mentioned site also cover the whole island of Ireland – offering interesting possibilities for private cross border postal companies?

  • Dec

    Its long been common here in the UK if invited to a house party or a restaurant to be given the post code so you can google up a street map. Post Codes are useful.

    If by ‘long been common’ you mean slightly over 4 years (the release of Google Maps) then you’re right, Slug. However cannier citizens of Ireland have long been able to workaround the ‘No postcode, no hope’ scenario you describe by simply pasting in the address of their destination into the Google search engine.

    I suppose in Ireland they were thought unnecessary because it as such as small neighbourly country that the postman simply asked a local resident?

    See above re: addresses

  • Coll Ciotach

    PON coders are the way to go, they work as you say of the national grid which can therefore be extended to cover the mainland and Britain and indeed the world if need be. Garmin sat navs use them already. I have been talking to them in order to use them for a couple of software projects I have in mind.

  • gaelcancóda

    Bhain mé triail as an suíomh aonteangach seo.

    Thug sé códa dhom le litreacha nach bhfuil ann sa Ghaeilge cé go bhfuil mé i mo chonaí sa Ghaeltacht.

    Fánfaidh mé ar an cheann oifigúil.

  • lula

    A 20th century technology to solve 21st century problems. How more typically Irish can we get? GPS and GIS have made postcodes redundant. This is a step backwards from townlands and baronies. It’s embarrassing.