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An Post signals end of the road for exclusive 'D4'

Residents of Ireland's most exclusive neighbourhood will be spluttering into their Louise Kennedy crystal goblets with the news that the postcode Dublin 4 will soon be no more.

Instead, officials in consultation with An Post have chosen the less appealing moniker of DO4 for the area, which includes Ireland's embassy belt.

Under proposals being brought before the Cabinet in the next few months, every home and business across the country is to get a new six-character postcode to bring Ireland into line with the rest of the EU.

Dublin postcodes will be based around the existing format with Dublin 4 becoming DO4 123, with the last three digits representing a specific house or business.

Meanwhile it is expected the rest of the country will roughly follow the existing car licence plate system, with addresses in Sligo starting with SO and those in Galway with GAL.

It is argued that a new national postcode system will improve efficiency by overcoming problems associated with incorrect addresses on mail, although An Post says it is managing just fine without it.

However, it will be a major benefit for marketing companies. It will also help emergency services pin-point specific addresses more quickly.

A spokesperson for An Post said the company did not require a new postcode system for processing mail as the system already in place had an "embedded code" which could identify every building in the state.

However, she said that it would support any new measure that had the potential to increase mail volumes.

"Postcodes are a much bigger piece of infrastructure than just An Post. It has implications for every business, resident, county council, road.

"We don't need it for processing, but we will be at the heart of it and will play our part . . . Our system is state of the art and has the capacity to run all different types of coding. We can certainly cater for it if and when it is introduced, and it looks increasingly like it's just a matter of setting a date," she added.

Communications Minister Eamon Ryan is finalising the postcode plans and is expected to bring them to Government before the summer.

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