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|IRC channel||(on EFnet)|
Eircode is a national postcode system created by the Irish government, launched on 13 July 2015. Before Eircode existed, there were other national postcode systems developed, including Loc8 and Open Postcode. The creator of Loc8 was offering his system to the government for free, however they declined his offer, and instead decided to spend €27m of Irish taxpayers money to develop Eircode - a technologically inferior postcode system.
Unlike Loc8 and Open Postcode, Eircode does not make use of algorithms to locate places. Instead, it's driven by a centralised database of Eircode <-> Address mappings. This means that instead of associating a coordinates with a code generated by an algorithm, mapping software either needs to have a full copy of the Eircode database stored locally (gigabytes of data), or a network connection to lookup Eircodes.
The company tendered to design and implement the system (Capita) is charging couriers and anyone else who wants to access the database, hence attempting to make money after wasting taxpayers money. DHL, FedEx and other large couriers have publicly stated they won't be using Eircode, which makes it redundant for the purpose it was created for.
However, it's possible to archive a database of postcodes by using their Finder API.
TL;DR: Irish government spend €27m of taxpayers money creating a badly designed postcode system, they didn't listen to criticism from stakeholders in the freight industry, and now they are trying to generate money by selling a database of postcode <-> address combinations.
Eircode's Finder interface is rate limited at 15 postcode requests per day. This limit is not enforced server-side at the moment, but there's a risk it may be in the future.