Eamon Ryan has just awarded PA Consulting the contract to introduce postcodes.
There is such a thing as semantic search engines in the 21st century, which enables free-text to be resolved to a GPS coordinate without too much fuss.
e.g. it's easier for a human to understand and interpret "54 St John's Avenue, Dalkey" than "Z49PQH". The former doesn't always need to be confirmed, whereas a postcode that is abstracted far away from the meaning of the address always needs confirmation. Also, in this day and age, computers can read addresses as quickly as they can read postcodes (unlike back in the 1980s, where a computer wouldn't know where to start if you gave it a free-text address, hence the need for postcodes). Yes, some ambiguity can arise with free-text addresses, but it's pretty obvious once a little bit of context is applied.
Hey, we even have a company called Google here in Dublin who have expertise in the small matter of geolocation and make their services free to the general public.
The Labour party (who I don't normally agree with) have said this system is "outdated and cumbersome". This is spot on. The confusion that will arise from it's introduction and the requirement to overhaul existing systems will be of no benefit whatsoever; despite the claimed increases in efficiency from having a postcode system.
A needless expense that detracts from the real issues. Joe Duffy listeners will be entertained for months with this one.