Dentists and vets can now witness passports
Members of a range of different professions are to be given the authority to act as witnesses for passport applicants, the Irish Independent has learned.
The Passport Service is to extend the signing process for applications for children to include professionals in healthcare, education and finance.
At present, only a small number of professions are listed as acceptable witnesses for passport applicants who are minors.
These include gardai, public representatives and medical doctors. But following a review by passport officials, the list is being expanded to include:
- Dentist, vets and nurses
- Teachers, physiotherapists and speech therapists
- Lecturers and credit union managers
- Pharmacists and chartered engineers
The new list of witnesses was released to Labour TD for Meath East Dominic Hannigan after he submitted a parliamentary question.
Mr Hannigan has consistently lobbied to increase the number of witnesses in order to bring Ireland in line with other countries.
As a chartered engineer himself, Mr Hannigan highlighted efforts by the Engineers Ireland group for inclusion.
"It is entirely reasonable to suggest that a profession whose integrity is perhaps more intact in the public mind at this time than that of bank managers, lawyers or even some members of the clergy should be allowed to perform this particular function," Mr Hannigan said during a Dail debate on the issue of passport regulations.