Eircode system will not work, Oireachtas committee told

New post code system fails to meet basic requirements, industry expert says

Postal code system: Gary Delaney of Loc8 warned the Global Address Data Association effectively identifies Eircode as a disaster that will make the Republic a laughing stock. He argued Eircode has no value for ordinary citizens as it will not be possible for them to use it to identity localities.  Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Postal code system: Gary Delaney of Loc8 warned the Global Address Data Association effectively identifies Eircode as a disaster that will make the Republic a laughing stock. He argued Eircode has no value for ordinary citizens as it will not be possible for them to use it to identity localities. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

 

US experts say the Republic’s proposed new post code system will not work, one of the plan’s opponents has told TDs and Senators.

The Government plans to introduce the seven-digit Eircode post codes this year in the face of opposition from the transport and logistics industries and groups which say the system is not fit for purpose.

Gary Delaney, chief executive of Loc8, which operates its own digital address coding system, told the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport and Communications, that an independent assessment by the Global Address Data Association is “an indictment” of Eircode.

Mr Delaney, who stressed he appeared before the committee as an expert, and not someone with a commercial interest, said the US association’s director, Charles Prescott, said the Republic had ended up with something that can only be called a post code in part. Mr Prescott states Eircode reminds him of the “old adage about a camel being a horse designed by a legislative committee”.

Mr Delaney warned the Global Address Data Association effectively identifies Eircode as a disaster that will make the Republic a laughing stock. He argued Eircode has no value for ordinary citizens or visitors to the State as it will not be possible for them to use it to identity localities.

Conditions not met

“Eircode will not deliver on the legal definition of what the national post code should be,” he said. Mr Delaney claimed there were no plans to pilot Eircode, while all other post codes in the world were tested before introduction.

Consultancy firm Capita won the tender to produce the code, outbidding An Post. The State is paying €15-€16 million to introduce the system. The code has two components, a three-digit route key, which identifies the area, and a random four-digit mix of letters and numbers that pinpoints the address itself. Eircode has said the system is designed to tackle Irish problems such as the fact that neighbours on one stretch of road often have the same address and may share a surname.