Wednesday 7 December 2016

Passport Office hires hundreds to deal with applications

Published 07/07/2016 | 02:30

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan

Hundreds of temporary staff have been hired at the Passport Office to process a surge in applications for Irish passports.

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A total of 233 additional clerical staff have been hired to process the 53,139 applications in the system as of July 1, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed yesterday.

There were 68,009 applications in the system at the end of May, before the Brexit referendum was held.

But in response to a parliamentary question from TD Michael Healy-Rae on concerns about the freedom of movement and entitlement to an Irish passport following the Brexit referendum in the UK, the Foreign Affairs minister played down the impact of the referendum on requests for Irish passports.

"The process of negotiation to enable the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is likely to take at least two years, as envisaged under Article 50 of the treaty of the European Union " he said.

"During this period, the UK remains a member of the European Union and its citizens continue to enjoy full rights, including freedom of movement, within the European Union.

"The referendum in Britain has in no way changed the entitlement to an Irish passport, including as it extends to people born on the island of Ireland and those who may be entitled to Irish citizenship through parents or grandparents."

Irish Independent

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