Postal codes in the Republic of Ireland
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Republic of Ireland postal addresses. (Discuss) Proposed since March 2012.|
There are no postal codes in Ireland aside from the Dublin postal districts system. While the national postal service, An Post, has stated that the addressing system and sorting technologies make postcodes for mail delivery unnecessary, it has been suggested that other services (such as direct mail providers) would benefit from a national system. 
Attempts at introduction of a national system 
In 2005 it became the policy of the Government of Ireland to introduce a national scheme of postcodes. The process of developing post codes is underway.
In May 2005, Noel Dempsey, the Minister for Communications announced that postcodes would be introduced by 1 January 2008, His successor as minister, Eamon Ryan, announced in August 2007 that he was delaying the project pending additional consultation and investigation into the need. However, on February 24, 2008 The Sunday Times reported that Ryan was finalising the system and hoped to bring the plans to cabinet before the summer of 2008, for introduction in 2009. The proposal was reported as being a six character alphanumeric system, with examples given for Galway city as GAL 123 and for Maynooth as MYN 123, where the numeric part would be different for each specific address. It was also to link with the existing Dublin postal districts with an example given for D4 becoming D04 123. Arguments against such a system include (1) data redundancy, "GAL" for Galway unnecessarily just repeats the word "Galway" from the address and adds no new information to the address; (2) three digits only allow for 1,000 geolocation points, a grid 31 by 31, for each post-town, or 1000 CSO Small Areas; the whole of County Galway has 1011 averaging 78 households; (3) language bias in favour of English placenames while Irish continues to be one of the two official languages of the state.
Following further delays, in September 2009 the cabinet agreed to go ahead with the project. It was to be put out to tender with the end of 2011 given as the date by which postcodes should be assigned. In January 2010 Minister Ryan stated in the Dáil that the exact nature of the code would not be decided until the implementation tender process had been completed but that a Location Code with GPS coordinates should be part of the system implemented. On 29 January 2010, a tender to select consultants to assist the Minister for Communications in deciding on the way forward was issued. 
The project was again delayed, but in December 2010 the government agreed to seek tenders for procurement of national postcodes, with an estimated cost of €15 million, with the contract to be awarded in the summer of 2011 with the codes introduced by the end of that year. According to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire the contract was to have been awarded in August 2011, with work to begin on 1 September. The Department published an update in September 2011, however, that the "procurement milestones given in the PQQ are indicative. The procurement process is still ongoing."
Proposed format 
In announcing the procurement tender, Minister Ryan gave guidelines on the format of the codes. He stated that an important factor of the codes should be "memorability". Codes should be alpha-numeric.
The first part of the code should indicate the geographical location indicated by letters of the alphabet, similar to the codes used on vehicle number plates. For this purpose the country would be divided into approximately 200 post towns or postal sectors, each indicated by letters. Examples given were: GLY (Galway), CK (Cork) and KKY (Kilkenny). The existing Dublin districts would be adapted to form the first part of the code, Dublin 7 becoming D07 and so on. Representations were received from Irish language organisations that the alphabetical codes should relate to the Irish names of the post towns, rather than the English. Accordingly, Ryan stated that Irish language names should be used in Gaeltacht areas, and in the remainder of the country would take precedence "insofar as it did not lead to difficulties in disseminating the postcode to the public".
The second part of the code would consist of a series of numerals to identify the individual property, based on its GPS location. This was described in a departmental briefing as a hybrid model - using a proposed combination of descriptive and geolocation codes.
Arguments against such a system include (1) data redundancy, "GAL" for Galway unnecessarily just repeats the word "Galway" from the address and adds no new information to the address; (2) three digits only allow for 1,000 geolocation points, a grid 31 by 31, for each post-town, or 1000 CSO Small Areas; the whole of County Galway has 1011 averaging 78 households; (3) language bias in favour of English placenames while Irish continues to be one of the two official languages of the state.
Legislation to "provide for the establishment, operation and maintenance of a system of postcodes" - the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Bill 2010 - was introduced in November 2010. The bill was enacted in August of the following year, with Part 3 of the act dealing with the establishment of a National Postcode System. Postcodes are defined in the legislation as "a code consisting of numbers or other characters or both numbers and other characters that identifies the locality of an address and, where appropriate, the geographic location of an address". The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is empowered to award a contract for "the development, implementation and maintenance of a system... for the allocation, dissemination and management of postcodes for the purposes of, or relating to, the provision of postal services and the use of the national postcode system by other persons for such other purposes as the Minister considers appropriate".
- Laura Noonan (2006-03-12). "Postcode system will increase direct marketing". Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Our minister for junk mail". Sunday Times. 2009-09-27. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Dempsey announces programme to introduce postcodes in Ireland by 1st January 2008 -". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. 2005-05-23. Retrieved 2009-04-03.
- "Minister to delay postcode system". Breakingnews.ie. 20 August 2007.
- The Sunday Times (Irish Edition) February 24, 2008 p 3 —Ryan zeroes in on Dublin 4 by Stephen O'Brien
- "The Government “Hybrid” Postcode Model".
- "Building The Case For Postcodes 2008". Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- DCENR Press Release 31 Jan 2010[dead link]
- "Dail Debate Jan 26th 2010". Kildarestreet.com. 2010-01-26. Retrieved 2013-04-12.
- DCENR Tender For Consultant[dead link]
- Harry McGee (4 January 2011). "Postcodes could be introduced across State by year's end". The Irish Times.
- "Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for the appointment of a Postcode Management Licence Holder (PMLH)". Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources. January 2011. p. 5. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Postcodes". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- "Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Bill 2010 [Seanad] Number 50 of 2010". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- "Minister Rabbitte announces final step in opening the postal market to full competition". merrionstreet.ie. Irish Government News Service. 2 August 2011. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
- "Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011". Irish Statute Book. Attorney General of Ireland. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
See also