Minister for Eircode doesn’t use it on his site

The minister responsible for Eircode has issued a staunch defence of the system, despite the fact he does not use it on his own website.

Speaking on the first anniversary of the its launch, Communications Minister Denis Naughten said Eircode is helping to save lives through its use by ambulance and Garda personnel.

The Independent TD dismissed criticism of the €38m programme, saying it will prove “good value for money” in time and that opponents are like people asking why a crawling baby has yet to start running.

However, he admitted he does not use Eircode on his own constituency website.

“When Eircode is fully operational, it will be good value for money,” Mr Naughten told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

“We’re at a situation at the moment — we’re 12 months in operation — where it’s like taking a small baby who has started to crawl and saying ‘well why isn’t the baby running’.

“As you know we’ve had particular problems in the midlands and the west of Ireland with ambulances going missing, delays, and so forth.

“Now the Eircode can pinpoint individual homes. It will mean that ambulances can get there an awful lot quicker and can respond to the emergency.”

Asked about why he does not use Eircode on his constituency website, he instead pointed to the fact he has given Eircode information on leaflets he handed out to constituents.

He said the system has been helping to “save lives” since the start of the year when the gardaí and National Ambulance Service began widespread use of the system.

While Eircode has been championed as a key mapping and location breakthrough for public and private services, it has been heavily criticised in its first year of operation.

A survey by the freight carriers industry found fewer than 5% of businesses use it.

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