All addresses to be given postcodes

EVERY address in Ireland will soon have its own unique postcode under a radical new mail system that will be a variation of the successful vehicle registration scheme.

Minister for Communications Noel Dempsey is examining two reports from ComReg which analysed the feasibility and cost benefit of introducing postcodes in Ireland.

The minister, in an interview with the Irish Examiner, described the results as positive and makes no secret of his desire to introduce postcodes to Ireland.

“Every country in the civilised world has postcodes,” said Mr Dempsey.

“This is just not about getting mail delivered much quicker. Postcodes can be used for a whole range of uses.

“A group like Breast Check said it would be enormously beneficial to them. It would enable them to do their business much more efficiently.

“The emergency services would agree that it’s good to have. They will be able to pinpoint people much more quickly in emergency call-outs.”

Dublin is the only region of Ireland that has a postcode system at present. Without revealing the nature of the system that has been chosen, Mr Dempsey said it would not follow the system in Britain or the numeric zip codes used in the US.

The Irish Examiner understands it will have both letters and numbers and will be localised and easily identifiable, being a variation of vehicle registrations that identify counties by initials.

The Labour Party’s spokesman on communications, Tommy Broughan, has expressed concern that a postal code system may be socially divisive in the way that some postcodes in the capital city (for example, Dublin 4) have become.

However, the minister pointed out the current Dublin system is divisive and that the cross-party and cross-interest postcode committee had arrived at a system that was inclusive and socially neutral.

Mr Dempsey also said he was concerned that the volume of mail was falling by about 3% each year, at a time when the economy was booming and so many items bought on the internet were delivered by post.

“There should not be falling mail volumes. Anything that increases the efficiency of deliver will help that,” he said in reference to the postcode.

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