An Post

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An Post
State-owned limited company
IndustryPostal services, courier
PredecessorDepartment of Posts and Telegraphs (1924-1984)
Founded1 January 1984
HeadquartersGeneral Post Office, O'Connell Street, Dublin 1, D01 NX45, Republic of Ireland
Area served
Ireland/Worldwide
Key people
David McRedmond (CEO)
Dermot Divilly (Chairman)
RevenueIncrease 840 million (2017)[1]
Increase 8.4 million (2017)[1]
Increase 84 million (2017)[1]
OwnerGovernment of Ireland (100%)
Number of employees
7,600 (2017)
Websiteanpost.ie

An Post (Irish pronunciation: [ən̪ˠ pˠɔsˠt̪ˠ]; English literal translation: "The Post") is the state-owned provider of postal services in the Republic of Ireland. An Post provides a "universal postal service" to all parts of the country as a member of the Universal Postal Union. Services provided include, letter post, parcel service, deposit accounts, 'Express Post', an all-Ireland next-day delivery service, and EMS, the international express-mail service.

Background[edit]

Van
The General Post Office in Dublin, headquarters of An Post
A small An Post post box attached to a telephone or electricity pole, or street light, is usually called a lamp box
Post office in Kincasslagh, County Donegal

An Post, the Irish postal administration, came into being in 1984 when, under the terms of the Postal & Telecommunications Services Act of 1983, the Post Office services of the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (P&T) were divided between An Post and Telecom Éireann, the telecommunications operator now called Eir. At its inception, during the early years of the Irish Free State, the Department of Posts and Telegraphs was the country's largest department of state, and its employees (most of them postmen) constituted the largest sector of the civil service. Prior to this the Post Office in Ireland had been under the control of various Postmasters General, Irish and British, with the appointment of Evan Vaughan as postmaster in Dublin in 1638, generally accepted as the date for the establishment of a semi-formal postal system in Ireland.[2] Oliver Cromwell's postal Act of 1657 created a combined General Post Office for the three kingdoms of Ireland, Scotland and England and the position was affirmed by Charles II and his parliament by the Post Office Act of 1660.[3]

Today An Post remains one of Ireland's largest employers but it has undergone considerable downsizing. In 2014, all parts of An Post made a profit for the first time in 8 years.[4] As of 2018 there were approximately 1,100 An Post offices and over 100 postal agents across the Republic of Ireland.[5]

The Irish government announced the introduction of a postcode system in Ireland from 2008[6] though An Post was against the system, saying it is unnecessary.[7] The introduction of the postcode system took place on 13 July 2015, after almost a decade of delays.[8]

All parcel post arriving in Ireland passes through An Post's mail centre in Port Laoise, where customs officials are on duty to inspect it.[9]

Subsidiaries and joint ventures[edit]

An Post is involved in a number of joint venture operations and also has several subsidiaries. It has complete ownership of some of these, while it is part-owner of others, such as the An Post National Lottery Company and the Prize Bond Company Limited.

An Post National Lottery Company[edit]

An Post held the licence granted by the Minister for Finance to run the National Lottery through its subsidiary, An Post National Lottery Company until February 2014. All employees of An Post National Lottery Company were seconded from An Post, and as such were employed and paid by An Post rather than by the subsidiary. Since 2014, the National Lottery has been operated by Premier Lotteries Ireland, in which An Post is a stakeholder.[10]

An Post Transaction Services[edit]

In 2003, An Post set up a new division to run its post office and transaction services business, entitled An Post Transaction Services or PostTS. It rebranded its post offices network as "Post Office" or "Oifig an Phoist" with a new, white-and-red logo, and introduced banking services in conjunction with Allied Irish Banks. It also introduced a service whereby newsagents could provide some Post Office services, entitled PostPoint.[citation needed]

In 2005 PostTS sold its foreign operations. The rebranding effort was partially reversed due to criticism, with the traditional An Post logo restored to Post Offices (the red-and-white symbol has been dropped from Post Offices, but remains in use for the company's website BillPay.ie and for PostPoint). The original PostTS shop front design which featured predominantly English branding "PostOffice" with the location in English, has also been replaced with the Irish language "OifiganPhoist", with the location in both Irish and English.[citation needed]

Between 2005 and 2006, An Post sold its interest in the Post TS UK and An Post Transaction Services businesses to Alphyra, for a reported €59.3m.[11]

Geodirectory[edit]

Jointly established by An Post and Ordnance Survey Ireland, Geodirectory is a service that provides a database of buildings and addresses in the Republic of Ireland, as well as their geolocation details.[12] It holds records for 2.2 million properties that receive post.[13] GeoDirectory assigns each property its own individual "fingerprint" – a unique, verified address in a standardised format, together with a geocode which identifies every property in the country.[14] Geodirectory also operates an award-winning mobile app called GeoFindIT.[15]

Postbank[edit]

On 5 October 2006 An Post signed an agreement for the creation of a joint venture with Fortis to provide financial services through the Post Office network. This joint venture with BNP Paribas was created to offer financial products and services to the Irish market, including daily banking, savings products, insurance, mortgages, and credit cards.[16][17] PostPoint and the company's insurance business, One Direct, was to become part of the new company, with access to the Post Office network.[18] In April 2007 a press launch was held for the new bank, which is to be known as Postbank (legally Postbank Ireland Limited, to distinguish from other similarly named operations such as Deutsche Postbank). By February 2010, the closure of the Postbank unit had been announced, and the operation was wound down by the end of December 2010.[19]

Some counter business for AIB and Ulster Bank can be conducted at post offices and all counter business for Danske Bank must be as that bank does not operate its own branches.[citation needed]

Postbus[edit]

Between 1982 and 2004 the company operated a postbus route linking Ennis with parts of County Clare.[20]

Television licensing[edit]

Television licensing is administered by An Post. It is responsible for the collection of revenue, inspection, and prosecution in cases of non-payment of the licence on behalf of the state.[21]

An Post van near Bundoran Post Office

Developments[edit]

In 2009 An Post sponsored a postcard project, called "C Both Sides", which ran for a year, with the public being invited to create postcards on different themes.[22]

In February 2012, the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) launched legal proceedings against An Post over the quality of its service. An Post said it was "puzzled" by the decision.[23]

See also[edit]

Former An Post Travelling Post Office at the Downpatrick and County Down Railway. A similar TPO survives at Irish Rail's Inchicore Works.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c An Post. "An Post Annual Report 2017" (PDF). Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  2. ^ Ferguson, Stephen (2016). The Post Office in Ireland - an illustrated history. Irish Academic Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-911024-32-3.
  3. ^ Ferguson. The Post Office in Ireland. p. 45.
  4. ^ "Careers". An Post. Archived from the original on 24 November 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  5. ^ "About An Post - Fast Facts". Anpost.ie. Archived from the original on 25 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Dempsey announces programme to introduce postcodes in Ireland by 1st January 2008 –". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. 23 May 2005. Archived from the original on 13 April 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  7. ^ "An Post is against codes plan". RTÉ. Retrieved 15 January 2007.
  8. ^ "Postcodes". Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012.
  9. ^ "Man held here in Silk Road 'dark web' probe". Sunday Independent. 22 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Premier Lotteries Ireland becomes the new operator of The National Lottery". shelflife.ie. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  11. ^ "An Post gets the stamp of approval and delivers profit". Independent News & Media. 24 January 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2018. the overall profit figures were skewed in 2005 and 2006 by [..] a further €59.3m gain from the company's Post TS UK and An Post Transaction Services businesses, which were sold to Alphyra
  12. ^ "GeoDirectory". www.geodirectory.ie/Home.aspx. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  13. ^ "Census Pilot Survey - Faqs - CSO - Central Statistics Office". www.cso.ie. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Maps". www.geodirectory.ie/Maps.aspx. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  15. ^ "GeoFindIT". www.geodirectory.ie/Home/Media/GeoFindIt.aspx. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  16. ^ "Grow as you go saving account from Postbank". RTÉ. 7 May 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2018.
  17. ^ "Fortis and An Post sign final agreement on creation of financial services joint venture in Ireland". An Post. Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  18. ^ "BNP Paribas Fortis" (PDF). www.fortis.com. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Postbank to 'Wind Down' by End of Year". RTÉ News. 26 February 2010.
  20. ^ "Last stop for post bus as bosses put brakes on service". Irish Independent.
  21. ^ "Consumer Affairs - Media - Television Licences". citizensinformation.ie. Citizens Information Board. The television licence fee is collected by An Post on behalf of the Minister for Department of Communication, Climate Action and the Environment, who has responsibility for broadcasting policy in Ireland
  22. ^ "Fri, Mar 28, 2008 – Wishing they were here to stay". The Irish Times. 3 March 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
  23. ^ "ComReg in legal action over An Post service". RTÉ News. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.

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