Calls for postcodes to help emergency services

A local Fine Gael councillor is calling on Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to prioritise the introduction of postcodes. Cllr Michael Murphy said that the emergency services are frequenty encountering problems finding addresses for callouts and he believes postcodes would be of huge benefit to emergency services.

A local Fine Gael councillor is calling on Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources to prioritise the introduction of postcodes. Cllr Michael Murphy said that the emergency services are frequenty encountering problems finding addresses for callouts and he believes postcodes would be of huge benefit to emergency services.

“Ireland saw significant development in the last ten years. However, as a consequence, we now have many houses and indeed estates poorly marked while rural addresses in particular might only give a location within a few miles. This can often lead to confusion over the exact location of an address. For example, the name of a townland may be replicated in several areas. Also many houses in our larger estates do not display any house number, some streets in these estates don’t even have a nameplate.”

Fire, ambulance and garda personnel are being delayed from attending callouts, according to Cllr Murphy.

“If every property had a postcode that can then be linked to a GPS tracking device in a vehicle, this could be of huge assistance to those drivers. At such callouts, minutes can make all the difference and can even, on occasion, save a life. The HSE recognises that there is a problem with finding addresses, particularly in rural areas, and said that the issue sometimes affected response times. I’m also involved with a number of community alert groups who have also identified this as a huge problem,” he said.

“Postcodes also have the potential to drive down delivery costs for businesses. I welcome the fact that calls for the introduction of postcodes have also been supported by Retail Excellence Ireland and Chambers Ireland. In the last few weeks, Christoff Mueller, chairman of An Post, has also supported this call. While the Government has stated its intention to develop a national postcode system, my understanding is that the tender process has been completed over a year ago, yet there is no sign of its introduction.

Cllr Murphy said he is calling on the Minister to proceed at the earliest opportunity and is formally writing to him and to the Oireachtas Commitee on Transport and Communications. Cllr Murphy said he is also tabling a motion at the June meeting of South Tipperary County Council asking the members and Council to support him.