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Eircodes are on the way to all addresses in Ireland

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A first for Ireland, Eircode to make life easier for Irish people, says Minister for Communications Alex White TD

Today marks the official launch of Eircode, Ireland's new postcode system. Over the next two weeks, every residential and business address in Ireland will receive a letter in the post informing them of the new Eircode for that address. Members of the public are being encouraged to look out for the letter in the coming weeks and, when it arrives, memorise the Eircode and keep it somewhere handy.

Minister for Communications Alex White TD launched Eircode at an event in Dublin today, where a unique new online tool, the Eircode Finder, was also unveiled.

This handy online search tool allows members of the public to use their PCs, tablets or smart phones to look up an address to find its unique Eircode. The Eircode Finder also contains a useful map that helps identify addresses quickly and easily.

Launching Eircode at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, today, Minister for Communications Alex White TD said:

"Ireland now has a postcode system, which will make all our lives a little bit easier and a little bit better. It will be easier to deliver mail and parcels to the correct recipients and it will be easier to shop online. Businesses that deliver parcels, or other goods and services, will have an affordable and effective new tool, which accurately identifies addresses and enables improved efficiency.

"A wide range of public services will be delivered more efficiently while emergency services will be able to find the correct address more quickly, particularly in rural areas. Our smart, modern postcode system will enhance our lives and boost economic growth by facilitating more focused delivery of services by government and business alike."

Liam Duggan, director of Eircode added: "We are proud to launch Eircode in Ireland today. It has been designed as a solution to Ireland's address structure which, until now, has provided challenges not experienced in other countries.

"Eircode will make life easier for Irish people and bring many benefits to both businesses and members of the public."

35% of addresses in Ireland are shared ("non-unique"), which makes them difficult to identify accurately. From today, the addition of an Eircode to these addresses solves this challenge by giving each premises its own unique code. This is expected to resolve many existing problems in the delivery of goods and services.

Key government and utility databases have already been updated to include Eircodes. Businesses across the country have also been provided with information to allow them to prepare their systems for the introduction of Eircode.

Mr Duggan added: "I want to remind members of the public to keep the seven digit Eircode assigned to their address somewhere within easy reach. Addresses do not change, the Eircode is simply added to your address."

Medical emergency services have already shown their support of Eircode and welcome the implemention.

According to Director of the National Ambulance Service, Martin Dunne:

"The National Ambulance Service is looking forward to the implementation of Eircode in Ireland as it will assist in the rapid identification of non-unique addresses. A considerable number of ambulance calls are to various types of premises and the Eircode system will allow fast and accurate location of these incidents. The new national computer aided dispatch system, which is expected to commence operations with the National Ambulance Service in September 2015, will be Eircode enabled."

For more information on Eircode and to use the Eircode Finder, visit http://www.eircode.ie/.

Things to remember:

· You don't need to do anything to activate the Eircode. Simply detach the Eircode from your letter, which you will receive in the post, and keep it somewhere handy.

· Your address won't change. The unique Eircode is simply added to your address.

· You can look up an address to find its unique Eircode with the Eircode Finder tool, visit http://www.eircode.ie/.

· No personal data is held on the Eircode Finder, which means it is not possible to search or identify names.

· Over time, more businesses will ask for an Eircode e.g. for deliveries or online services. But this may not happen immediately as many businesses and online companies are currently updating their systems to recognise Eircodes.

· It is not compulsory to use your Eircode, but you will get all the benefits of improved delivery of goods and services, including public services, by using the new addition to your address.

· It doesn't cost anything for a householder to use their Eircode.

ENDS

Media contact, Republic of Ireland
Rosemary Simmons, Prior Communications 01 6627 111 or 087 250 0496

Fiona Thornton, Prior Communications 01 6627 111 or 086 892 8277

Media contact, Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources

Claire Collins, Press Officer 01 678 2441 / press.office@dcenr.gov.ie

Notes to the Editor:

An Eircode is made up of a seven character alpha-numeric code. The seven digit Eircode consists of a three character Routing Key plus a four character Unique Identifier. The Routing Key represents a geographical area which is based on the principal postal districts. The Unique Identifier is drawn from a carefully selected set of letters and numbers that identifies each individual address.

On review of many other postal systems and with advances in technology, it became clear that a design that could allocate a code to a single letterbox would provide a lot more benefits to the public, businesses, and organisations, including state agencies, who provide services to the public.

In late 2013, the Department for Energy, Communications and Natural Resources, awarded the "Postcode Management Licence Holder" (PMLH) contract to Capita Business Support Services Ireland (supported by BearingPoint and Autoaddress). The PMLH contract will be fulfilled by the Capita-owned business, Eircode. PMLH will be responsible for creating the Eircode database and launching the brand to businesses and consumers. The systems to allow for the smooth operation, maintenance and marketing of the Eircode business are currently being put in place.

Capita plc is the UK's leading provider of customer and business process management (BPM) and integrated professional support service solutions. With 68,000 people at over 400 sites, including 80 business centres across the UK, Europe, India and South Africa, the Group uses its expertise, infrastructure and scale benefits to transform its clients' services, driving down costs and adding value. Capita is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (CPI.L), and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 with 2014 revenue of £4.4bn. Capita began operating in Ireland in 1999, when it helped to set up the BBC Information service in Belfast. Since then the business has grown the scale and scope of professional and outsourced services, supporting local Irish companies, international companies based in Ireland and servicing international financial services clients from within the Ireland offices. It employs around 3,000 people across the North and South. Further information on Capita Ireland can be found at http://www.capita.ie/

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