Limerick mother's request to delete ‘666’ in baby's PPS number

A Limerick mother has sought to delete the digit’s ‘666’ from her baby’s PPS number because they have links in scripture with the ‘devil’ and the enemies of God.

In what is believed to be the first request of its kind, Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea took up the woman’s case and put it to the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton in the Dail which was dissolved yesterday.

A spokesperson for Mr O’Dea said the woman felt uncomfortable with the digits and had sought a response from the department on several occasions without success.

Mr O’Dea’s spokesperson said: “She has now been informed by the department that they wouldn’t change the number, as it’s done automatically and they don’t create designer numbers for people.”

Minister Joan Burton informed Mr O’Dea that a PPS is an individual’s unique reference number for all dealings with government departments and public bodies.

Ms Burton said: “PPS numbers are automatically allocated to children born in the State once the birth is registered within three months of the date of birth.

“The number allocated is randomly selected from the series of numbers available. In general PPS numbers are only changed where a person’s number has been compromised.”

The number ‘666’ is referred to as the ‘number of the beast’ in chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation in the New Testament.

The number has also been associated with God’s enemies.

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