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18th Oct 2018

PICS: Royal Mail Refused To Deliver This Letter In Belfast Because It Was In Irish

Darragh Berry

Last week, we came across a school principal in Derry who refused to open a letter because of one big mistake and now another letter has caused uproar.

This letter was sent by Piarais Mac Alastair who wanted to get his post to Falcon Road, Belfast, BT12.

Or as he put it, 14 Bothar an Fhabheuin, Bothar Boucher.

He included all the relevant fadas, his writing was readable, but yet he got back an ‘address unknown’ and ‘no such address’ stamp from the Royal Mail.

Piarais described it as “more shocking treatment of Irish speakers” by Royal Mail and wondered why he received this return despite the postcode being labeled on the letter.

He went on to add that he sends “dozen of Irish Language letters a week and never have any issue.”

This is not the first time that Royal Mail have refused to deliver a letter in Irish either.

“Not the first time this has happened. Previous statements from RoyalMail suggested Irish was not ‘the language of the dispatching country’ nor was it an ‘internationally recognised lang’. “

Royal Mail did apologise to Piarais saying:

“Hi, I’m sorry this item was returned. If the postie was unable to read the address it should have been referred to their line manager who will follow the agreed procedures to have the item translated in-house. Can you DM the English version of the address?.

We recognise that individuals may wish to use Gaelic in individual names and addresses. Provided that the correct address and postcode are used, we will deliver to our normal service standards any letters and parcels which bear addresses in the Irish language or Ulster-Scots.

“We will recognise languages covered specifically in the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Scots-Gaelic, Irish, Ulster-Scots are covered within our language policy.”

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