Controversy still surrounds Ireland’s postcode service Eircode which celebrated its first anniversary yesterday.
Despite its estimated €35m cost, the uptake of use of the system remains slow with some freight companies refusing to use it, some preferring to use the rival, all-island system Loc8code as more suitable for their needs.
There is also concern that satnav services and digital mapping devices such as Garmin or TomTom, as well as Google Maps, may still not accept Eircodes.
Ireland was the last OECD country to adopt a postal code system and the only one to use a unique identifier system.
While the system certainly has its detractors, it has proved very useful in many areas. It is used by gardaí to pinpoint gun owners; it has helped make more efficient the system for awarding college grants and it is used by Task, which operates monitoring systems for older people living alone.
The national ambulance service is now using Eircode, finding it particularly valuable in rural areas.
The most vociferous complaints about Eircode is coming from commercial enterprises that refuse to use it but how can they make a reasonable determination as to its efficiency if they are not prepared even to try it?
One year is not a long time for a postcode system to become widely acceptable. In the UK, it took 30 years.
Perhaps a little patience all round might be in order.
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