Sure Eir Would You Get It?



An Post spent €2.4million preparing the way for it and the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources tell me “An Post were actively involved in every stage of Eircode, from design through to dissemination.”

“So I asked An Post how many people were using Eircode as part of their addresses. Now they initially said to me, in their response that the usage was low.”

“And I suppose low could mean several hundred thousand pieces of mail, so I went back to clarify what we’re talking about in terms of low and they did say that ‘we’re talking about single digit usage in percentage terms’ so less than 10% are using it.”

“I asked An Post how does it work actually, in practice, because I was being told by a number of postal workers, off the record that they don’t have any way of interpreting the code... Postal workers were telling me, Seán, that sometimes they might use their own smartphone to check the codes from time to time.”

“But that really was about it. And I asked An Post how it worked out. For example, if you have an address that’s incomplete but if there is a postcode on the letter, how does it work? And they said that the Eircode on the address can be recognised by sorting equipment, so that’s centrally, and from then on the post person uses the postal address, not the Eircode, to complete the delivery.”

“And they say that it was never intended that the postal address, that postal staff would spend time checking every letter, or any of them, as part of the standard delivery work procedure…”

RTÉ One journalist Brian O’Connell during a report on the controversial Eircode system for the Today with Seán O’Rourke show

Following on from Mr O’Connell’s report, Minister for Communications Alex White was interviewed by Mr O’Rourke.

Seán O’Rourke: “This is something that you feel is worth the, well it now seems like a €50million investment?”

Alex White: “Well I don’t know where the €50million comes from but…”

O’Rourke: “Well €38m and the €12m between the…”

White: “Yeah…I don’t know about the…”

O’Rourke: “€38m from the Comptroller and Auditor General..”

White: “€27million was paid out and then, you know, the Comptroller and Auditor General pointed out that you have to add in the cost of external consultants, you have to add in, you have to put a price on the cost of my staff, the staff in my department, which wasn’t in factored in, and there’s VAT. So certainly there’s a  cost here and I don’t doubt that there’s a cost but I think that it’s a very, very worthwhile investment for this country, a critical piece of public infrastructure…”

Readers may wish to note that Mr O’Rourke never asked Mr White about the particular concerns raised in the C&AG report in relation to non-competitive tendering during the hiring of consultants for the Eircode project.

Good times.

Previously: Eircode And A Pattern Of Non-Competitive Tenders For Consultants

Listen back to the report in full here

10 thoughts on “Sure Eir Would You Get It?

  1. phil

    Seems kinda familiar that story , was there a movie similar to this story, Government setup of something people did want , huge money spent on secret consultants etc etc …

  2. Gary Delaney

    …..then, when under pressure, White throws out that “he expects to sign licences with Google soon”!

    1. That was claimed twice already last year and it never happened
    2. Google have made no such statement!

    The same Minister White also claimed that the Eircode tender was the best of “robustness & correctness” but EU & C&AG investigations have reported the complete opposite.

    I really don’t think Minister White has anything credible to say on the matter!

    Meanwhile, AutoAddress, the contractors who are helping to hoover up the €50m of taxpayers money being paid for Eircode, are now flogging the addition of another code to Eircode to solve the fact that it is useless for couriers (and others). This, after they knowingly delivered Eircode it with significant flaws, having claimed that FTAI did not know what they were talking about when they said they could not use Eircode. What they claimed as a “new Global Standard” is right now being reinvented so that Autoaddress can try to continue to sell the money making ECAD database on which Eircode is based! So as I have said many times, Eircode is not important at all – it’s the database that they are really focused on!

    Autoaddress & Minister White between them have sealed Eircode’s final demise, whilst Capita, who are being paid to push it, remain conspicuously silent! (busy looking for the exit clauses and related taxpayer penalties I would imagine!)

  3. Eoin

    So how come this Eir thing hasn’t worked? Only 10% are using it. Well, it’s down to one of two things. It’s either corruption or incompetence. Maybe both. Either way you’d be fired for both in most real jobs. Maybe even arrested. :)
    ………….unless you’re a modern Irish politician of course, there’s no consequences to anything you ever do. You’ll even get rewarded for screwing up.

  4. The Old Boy

    I don’t use the codes, nor do I see any advantage in doing so, but I think it a little early to predict the system’s success. It would be interesting to see how quickly they were adopted in the UK. It took years before the Dublin postal districts reached full usage.

    1. Gary Delaney

      there was a reason in the 60’s for people to adopt a postcode in the UK;- they were being told by Royal Mail if you don’t use your mail will not be delivered. The opposite is true here. An Post do not need it and they and Ministers Rabbitte/White have said that if you don’t use Eircode your mail will be delivered in the same way as always. Therefore there is no use case for Eircode with mail!
      There is. however, for Couriers/Emergency Services but they have repeatedly stated that Eircode is useless for their needs.
      That being the case, Eircode will not get any significant penetration amongst the population in the same way as the UK postcode did!

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