Postal addresses in the Republic of Ireland
A "postal address" in the Republic of Ireland is a place of delivery defined by Irish Standard (IS) EN 14142-1:2011 ("Postal services. Address databases") and serviced by the universal service provider, An Post. Its addressing guides comply with the guidelines of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations-affiliated body responsible for promoting standards in the postal industry, across the world.
In Ireland, 35% of Irish premises (over 600,000) have non-unique addresses due to an absence of house numbers or names. Before the introduction of a national postcode system (Eircode) in 2015, this required postal workers to remember which family names corresponded to which house in smaller towns, and many townlands, and even now, An Post does not use Eircode because it was not designed or intended to aid local delivery and post carriers are not expected to recall the code for every house on their route.
Ireland was the last country in the OECD to create a postcode system. In July 2015 all 2.2 million residential and business addresses in Ireland received a letter notifying them of the new Eircode for their address. Unlike other countries, where postcodes define clusters or groups of addresses, an Eircode identifies an individual address and shows exactly where it is located. The system was criticised at its launch.
Responsibility for the current postal delivery system rests with An Post, a semi-state body; however, the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) retains the right to regulate addresses if they wish so.