Postcodes are now in use in Ireland for the first time, with the rollout of Eircode, ending the Republic’s position as the only developed country in the world not to have them.
2.2m homes and businesses across Ireland will be sent their new code over the course of the next few weeks.
The first half of each code relates to existing postal districts, and the second half is a randomly generated unique identifier. The random part of the codes has already attracted criticism on the grounds that adjacent Eircodes will lack obvious concurrency, with some warning this may make it hard for the emergency services to navigate its way from one to another in a hurry.
The controversy doesn’t end there. According to the Irish Times, DHL and FedEx are among carriers that have said they won’t be integrating Eircodes into their systems. As many as 55,000 of the codes may be inaccurate, some critics have said.
Guy Mucklow, CEO of Postcode Anywhere, is more positive: “Having a complete address database is an essential part of managing an efficient economy. Besides the obvious improvements to delivery, addresses and particularly structured, postcoded addresses are the key to providing the information for the planning and delivery of health, social and education services by local and national government.”
Ukraine was the first country to introduce postcodes, in 1932. Their usage stopped a few years later though. In 1941 Germany started using them. Argentina followed suit in 1958. The UK didn’t start using postcodes until 1959, with the US catching up in 1963.
eDelivery readers in Ireland wanting to look up their Eircode, can do so here.