Zip codes for Ireland

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"Where the streets have no name"

Even though the Irish band U2 wants to see this line of song differently interpreted, however, the phrase tells a lot about Ireland. The roads mostly have names, so many places outside the cities are lacking in ZIP code. Especially in rural areas so many times only the main roads are called, while for the smaller streets or country lanes there is no name. For this reason, until 2015, it was far from easy to get away in rural Ireland. Ireland remains the only country in the European Union, which until 2015 did not have a unified postal system. Exception for large cities such as Dublin and Cork, so far no country code is used in rural areas. The "An Post", the state-owned enterprise of the Republic of Ireland, which was founded in 1984 and is still one of the country's largest employers until recently, has recently used its own methods to ensure that shipments reach their destination. Cities have long been served by a system of numbered districts.

The Eircode

On January 1, 2008, the Irish government announced the introduction of a unified startup system for the entire country. Initially, Irish post strongly opposed the introduction, stating that it did not need a new system. The introduction was postponed a few times and in 2015 it finally started. The "Eircode", the official name of the Irish ZIP code, resembles the United Kingdom system. The Irish system is also composed of an alphanumeric sequence. Since from the introduction this system was subject to several critiques: while the start of the seven-point code (the "Routing Key") indicates the mail destination areas, the next four-position (the "Unique Identifier") is chosen randomly. So it may happen that the neighbor is deceived of a completely different Eircode. Contrary to other postal systems, Eircode does not use mailboxes. Since Eircode's claim was to cover the entire country with unified CAP, the new system had to be used in large cities as well. Dublin's capital, for example, was already using the simple ZIP code before the Eircode, referring to the 22 districts of Dublin. These were then integrated into the Eircode. D01 - D022 stands for numbered districts. Be careful not to be confused: in certain addresses the district number is simply attached to the end of the location (ex.: Dublin 2).

Try it yourself!

If you want to organize a shipment to the famous Trinity College of Dublin, which is located in the 2. district of Dublin, the your address (without Eircode) looked like this until 2015:

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
College Green
Dublin 2
IRELAND

If you want to ship a parcel in Ireland today, it is recommended to use the Eircode. However, it does not appear to be compulsory. The new code is not intended to cancel the old one, but simply wants to integrate it. The www.eircode.ie portal was launched to associate the correct Eircode with the existing addresses. Let's go back to the example below to specify our address in detail. This time we send a parcel to the Trinity College Business School, so the address would be:

Trinity Business School
Trinity Central
152_160 Pearse Street
Dublin 2
D02 R590
IRELAND

You see, therefore, that Eircode integrates in the first part the Dublin District (Dublin 2), where our destination address is located. It follows a four-position code, which defines the address in detail.

Small tips and tricks:

  • What initially did not work, now works: Meanwhile Eircode can also be used with Google Maps and other navigation systems.
  • Caution: Since the second part of the code has been randomly assigned and does not indicate the roads sequentially, you must act with caution: with a very small mistake your shipment can risks to be sorted to a completely different destination.