Eircode Postcodes in Ireland

Up until now, Ireland has not had a postcode system for postal addresses. This sometime made the ordering of goods from abroad quite tricky, as even our neighbours in the UK were confused that we didn’t use postcodes.

At the end of June 2015 an organisation called Eircode will be rolling out postcodes to 2.2 million homes and businesses across the republic.

The format of the new Eircode will be a 3-digit alphanumeric ‘routing key’, followed by a 4-digit alphanumeric ‘unique identifier’. The routing key will identify the area you live in, and in Dublin it will mirror the current postal district codes (D2, D6W, D15, etc.) The unique identifier will be a random selection of numbers and letters that identify your house or apartment. The unique identifiers of neighbours will bear no relation to each other, and cannot be used to infer a neighbourhood or street.

Source: Eircode

Source: Eircode

  • The Routing Key will always start with a letter A, C, D, E, F, H, K, N, P, R, T, V, W, X or Y, and will be followed by two numeric digits (0-9) – except for the area of the D6W where the letter W is valid on the 3rd digit.
  • The Unique Identifier will comprise a mixture of letters and/or numbers – letters A, C, D, E, F, H, K, N, P, R, T, V, W, X or Y, and numbers 0-9. No two houses in the same street will have a similar codes, and no two houses of the same name will have a similar code.

Hopefully the new postcode system will allow the more accurate routing of the emergency services and postal/courier services – and hopefully it’ll be adopted into satnav systems, to help the rest of us navigate more successfully.


 

Update 13th July 2015: The Eircode postal code system officially launched today, and you can look yours up using the Eircode Finder.

Irish Water Charges

As of today, 1st October 2014, the Irish people will be liable for domestic water charges.

For the first 9 months, households will be liable for an ‘assessed’ charge that is based upon the number of adults in the property. The first adult is charged €176 a year, and each additional adult is charged an extra €102.  Children will not be charged.

Then, as of July 2015, those properties with water meters installed will be charged based on the volume of water consumed – at a cost of €2.44 per 1,000 litres of water.

However, I live in an apartment, and as such I’m very unlikely to have a water meter installed. So I’ll continue to be liable for the ‘assessed’ charge going forward.

The thing is, now that I’m suddenly paying what is in effect a subscription charge for my water, my first instinct is to try and maximise my usage.  It’s like having a gym membership or a subscription to Netflix.  You want to feel that you’re getting the maximum value for your money.

With that in mind, I’m considering now having two, or even three, showers a day from now on.  I’m going to wash each item of clothing in a separate wash.  And to ensure that I always have cold water available for when I want a drink, I’m going to leave a tap running in the kitchen.

After all, I’m going to be paying 76 cents a day for this water, so I want to make the most of it.

Marriage Licence

We got back from our honeymoon the other day to find our Marriage Licence waiting for us.  

My new mother-in-law had kindly delivered our Marriage Registration Form (MRF) to the registrar while we were away, and was able to get two copies of our licence printed on the spot.  The only thing I didn’t realise is that, despite already paying €200 to register the marriage, we would be charged a further €20 for each copy of the licence!

 

Marriage Registered

In Ireland it’s a legal requirement that you need to register your intent to marry with a registrar at least 3 months prior to your religious or civil ceremony.

The process involves:

  • Both the bride and groom attending the registrar’s office with a selection of paperwork (passports and birth certificates as a minimum).
  • The registrar then fills in a form on their computer to capture your personal details, including your PPS numbers, the place where you are getting married, the name of your solemniser (priest or registrar), your parent’s names, and the names and dates of birth of your two witnesses.
  • You then both make a written declaration of no impediment to marry. This is to state you are over 18, of sound mind, and are not related to each other through blood or marriage.
  • You pay the registration fee, which at the time of writing is €200!
  • The registrar then issues you with a Marriage Registration Form. This is the piece of paper you sign on your wedding day to make the marriage legal. The form replaces the old marriage registers that individual churches and registry offices would keep. The Marriage Registration Form has to be returned to the registrar within one month of the wedding, and they will then issue the Marriage Certificate.

The process to register our marriage was a little more troublesome than some because we were both born outside of Ireland. We both had to get our birth certificates legalised by the authorities in the countries where were we born. I had to send mine to the UK and I got it back within a week. My fiancée on the other hand had to go to the South African embassy and apply for a new birth certificate (they wouldn’t legalise the original one), and that took just over 2 months to come back – and by all accounts, that was a speedy turnaround.

Anyway, so we both attended the registrar’s office yesterday afternoon, and we now have our Marriage Registration Form. All the legal stuff is now out of the way. So for the next 14 weeks we can concentrate on organising a wedding!

A flag for Northern Ireland

While visiting Belfast last weekend, we happened upon one of the flag protests going on in the city.

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The protests centre about a disagreement regarding the flying on the UK union flag (sometimes called the union jack) from Belfast City Hall.

The flying of flags in Northern Ireland is a contentious issue to start with. The unionists, who align themselves with the UK, want to keep the symbol of the UK – the union flag – while republican nationalists, who align themselves with the Republic of Ireland, want to fly the Irish Tricolour.

The problem, as I see it, is that Northern Ireland doesn’t have a flag of it’s own.  All of the other parts of the UK (England, Scotland and Wales) each have their own flag. But there’s no flag that denotes the six counties of Northern Ireland. There is the Flag of Ulster, which covers the entire province of Ulster including the 3 counties in the republic, and there’s the Ulster Banner, but that has no official standing (and looks a bit too much like the English St George’s cross).

If they had their own flag, it may just help move away from the unionist and republican posturing, and help Northern Ireland unite as one community.

Northern Ireland flag?

Northern Ireland flag?

I’m not sure exactly what a Northern Ireland flag should look like, but I quite like the idea of this guy, who suggests a green saltire (as pictured here). Although I accept the green colour may not be acceptable to some.

Maybe the Northern Ireland Assembly should commission the design of several different flags, and the people given a referendum to vote on which one they want.

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