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Your new postcode won't say 'F1CK' or 'IRA'. Here's why

“FECK will not be in there.”

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE COMPANY DEVISING Ireland’s new Eircode system has removed more than 90,000 combinations that could be deemed offensive.

Liam Duggan of Capita Ireland told the Oireachtas Communications Committee that ”rude or offensive words” and real names have been removed from the system.

“As an exercise we bought online scrabble and so on and we looked at all the four letter words and three letter words and so on,” he said.

“If you put ‘F’ and anything in the next field and then a ‘CK’ it looks like a word. So ‘FECK ‘will not be in there.”

Duggan also confirmed that the letters ‘IRA’ would not be combined in that order.

He added that employees who visually went through the combinations that were left found some “unexpected things”, like the fact two ‘V’s’ beside each other look like a ‘W’.

The system includes 25 characters, meaning there are 390, 625 possible combinations for the second-half of the code.

Each code will consist of seven digits – a three-digit ‘routing key’, and 4-digit ‘unique identifier’.

eircode Source: Eircode.ie

Capita has also removed letters and numbers where there is potential confusion. For example, ‘O’ and ‘Q’ are not included, but ’0′ (zero) is. Similarliy, ‘l’ and ‘i’ have been removed so as not to be confused with ’1′.

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The letter ‘M’ has also been removed for “verbal recognition” reasons as it sounds too like ‘N’.

Duggan said that when the system is introduced, by mid-2015, Eircode’s website will include a ‘look-up tool’ that can be used for free about 15 times a day, and more often in the run-up to Christmas.  

A contact centre will also be established to deal with public queries.

Duggan noted that Eircode is in with Google Maps about embedding the system in its service. He also said there would be a code of practice in place regarding selling on the postcode database to service providers.

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Órla Ryan

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