The Minister for Communications, Pat Rabbitte has won agreement from the Cabinet for the rollout of a new national postcode system that will provide a unique seven character code to every letter-box in the State by 2015.
Under the new system, Ireland will be the first country in the world to have a public database of unique identifiers for all properties that will assist citizens, public bodies and businesses to locate every individual household in the State.
This will alleviate the current situation whereby more than 30 per cent of all domestic addresses are not unique. It will mean that individual apartments and offices in large developments will each have an individual code as long as specific post-boxes are provided.
The Postcode will be a seven-character code in the format A65 B2CD, with the first three characters relating to a general area or postal district in which the address is located. In Dublin, existing postal districts will appear as the first three characters of the new postcode.
The new system, which will be operational in Spring 2015, will bring Ireland in line with other European countries whereby postcode systems have been the norm for many decades.
Minister Rabbitte commented: “I am very pleased to announce that Ireland will at last have a publically-owned national postcode system. Most countries have had the benefit of such systems since the mid 1900’s. I am very glad to announce that in making the move now we have been able to use the technology and systems available today to move to a next generation system. The Irish code will be the first in the world to be unique to each individual address.
“There are many benefits, for example, given the prevalence of satellite navigation systems in cars, a driver will simply be able to insert a postcode into their device, rather than a lengthy address and will be provided with the accurate location. Similarly this will greatly benefit emergency services such as ambulance drivers to locate destinations for call-outs, which in some instances are life and death situations.”
“Householders will be informed of their postcode in early 2015 and will be able to use it from then on. In the meantime the groundwork designing the code and updating private and public sector databases to accommodate the new postcode system will be undertaken.
“I will be announcing further details of the new system subject to contract shortly.”
The Government has also approved, subject to contract, the appointment of a consortium headed by Capita Ireland as the company which will develop, roll-out and operate the Postcode System. This announcement follows a procurement process run by Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
The Capita consortium is expected to operate the postcode under license for an initial ten year period extendable at the discretion of the Minister for Communications by a further five years.