The Irish Post Office is to introduce American-style zip codes at a cost of millions of dollars – but some people want the postal system left the way it has worked for generations.

After several failed attempts, the Irish government is to finally press ahead with the new system.

But a Wall Street Journal report says many people are happy with the way things are in a country where street names are often unheard of and post can be delivered with just the person’s name and parish.

The paper spoke to several post office customers happy with the status quo.

The report describes how Patrick Murphy moved to a small town in the west a decade ago, there were already two other Patrick Murphys in the neighborhood.

None of the three were related, they lived in different homes but shared the same address: Dromtrasna Collins, Abbeyfeale, County Limerick.

The WSJ explains Abbeyfeale postman first delivered mail to the Patrick Murphy who had lived in the village the longest, and they worked it out from there.

Murphy said: “My neighbors would get it first. They’d have a good read, and they’d go, ‘No it’s probably not us.’”

The proposed new system, due to introduced in the spring, promises to be one of the world’s most specific and will assign an individual number to every residence and business.

But 76-year-old Dubliner Grainne Kenny can’t see the need for it.

She said: “The bloody post codes…don’t start with me on those.

“They’re a necessary evil, maybe, but I think Ireland is losing its charm. We’re a small country.

“If you can’t find the right house? Stop somebody on the road, they’ll say, ‘Over that hill there.’”

Wicklow resident Paul Davitt, whose address is simply Badger Hill, Ashford, County Wicklow, agrees. He said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. No postmen get lost. They all know their own routes. Who’s it for?”

Former Minister Noel Dempsey is backing the $32 million plan.

He said: “You’re portraying yourself as a very modern, fast-moving country.

“You’re way to the forefront in IT, and so on, and you haven’t got a post-code system? Embarrassing would be the word I’d use to describe it.”

Postal service spokeswoman Anna McHugh said the service now fully supports the introduction of the postal codes.