An Post, the Irish postal service has made its address database available to the public without charge for the first time. This means it is possible to verify a postal address without needing to contact the destination sorting office. It is the first time a postal directory has been available in Ireland for at least 15 years.
The purpose of making the database available appears to be to allow the public to check addresses before sending mail. An Post is to be applauded for providing this essential facility.
It’s a little awkward that you need to register to get a username and password for the service. It’s quite simple, and gives no extra information about the places listed (although this information is part of the geodirectory database on which it is based).
It is quite interesting to look through rural address listing. For example, Middle Illies in Co. Donegal is listed as ‘Middle Illies, Lifford, Co. Donegal’ even though it is nowhere near Lifford (although that must be where the mail is delivered from).
Dromahair, Co. Leitrim is listed as ‘Dromahair, Sligo, Co. Leitrim’. Sligo is town in a different country, but it obviously is where the mail come through.
As far as I can see from this, the directory is not so much an address database as a delivery database.
There are no Irish language entries that I can find.
In related news, there is a story in today’s Sunday Business Post about the postcode project. The story is that this project is turning out to be more complicated than expected. There are also dark rumours about the cost being in excess of EUR 50m. It shouldn’t really cost that much.