Belfast Telegraph

We deliver letters addressed in Irish and Ulster Scots, says Royal Mail after post returned

By Gareth Cross

Royal Mail has launched an investigation after a letter addressed in Irish was returned to its sender.

Piarais Mac Alastair took to Twitter after a letter he sent to Boucher Road addressed in Irish was returned to him by Royal Mail, saying the addressee was unknown and there was no such address.

A Royal Mail help account replied to Mr Mac Alastair saying that standard procedure would have been for the postal worker to refer the letter to their line manager who would have the letter translated in-house.

A Royal Mail spokeswoman told The Belfast Telegraph that they were investigating complaints around the issue.

They said that they will be reminding all staff of their policy on the issue.

“We apologise if a few customers have experienced delays with items of mail addressed in Irish. We fully understand these concerns raised by them and are investigating these complaints. Every item of mail is important to us and we typically pride ourselves on high levels of service," the spokeswoman said.

“Royal Mail fully recognises the cultural importance of the Irish and Ulster Scots languages, We are committed to fulfilling its obligations and responsibilities, as set out in current national and European agreements.

"Royal Mail also recognises the need to balance the requirements of our customers for an efficient value-for-money service, with the need to acknowledge our responsibilities as a major organisation operating in a society with diverse cultures. This has always been and remains our approach.

"Royal Mail handles Irish language items on a daily basis and the overwhelming majority of these are delivered without any difficulty. This is true, as long as the house or premises number and postcode appear correctly on mail items. On some occasions mail could be marked as we translate the location of the address. We are reminding all our staff of our policy and we will be taking appropriate steps to prevent this happening again.”​

Responding on Twitter, former Lord Mayor of Belfast Niall O'Donnghaile said the issue was an "ongoing problem" and requested a meeting with "a representative of senior management in Belfast".

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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