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A red letter day as Fermanagh homes finally get postcode

A woman has said that she is delighted that her family home in Co Fermanagh finally has an official address for the first time ever.

Sharon Whittaker was speaking after it emerged that 15,000 rural properties are to be given addresses that will be recognised on computer databases.

Fermanagh District Council — which has now identified every property with a number and road name — began the process of informing residents of their new details on Monday.

Last October the Belfast Telegraph revealed that hundreds of people had found that problems stemming from the unofficial postcode system was damaging their credit rating.

The problems stemmed from an out-of-date address system introduced years ago by the local council based on townlands.

It was introduced when the rest of the province switched to road names and numbers.

The discrepancy meant that many had been denied mortgages, credit cards and telephones, even though they clearly have the means to pay for them.

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The affected people include professionals such as doctors, dentists and pharmacists who generally have few problems getting credit.

Ms Whittaker, a 27-year-old communications officer, had been unable to open a bank account or secure a phone contract.

Last year she told the Belfast Telegraph she had been embarrassed to discover from a credit rating firm that had listed her as having more than 500 different addresses.

On Monday, she welcomed the resolution of the problem.

“After 35 years, four different postcodes, three different spellings of our road name and however many other incorrect addresses later, I am pleased to see that my family home now has an official address,” she said.

“Fermanagh residents have been greatly disadvantaged for more than a decade in relation to finance, credit checks, mobile phone contracts and other services, so this change — though long overdue — is very welcome.”

The changes can also be seen on the What's My Address? website.

The new system is due to be implemented on February 1.

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