Monday 20 February 2017

Swept up in the seasonal rush? Minister assures spike in passport demand is under control

Published 06/07/2016 | 20:44

Anyone born on the island of Ireland or whose parents are Irish automatically qualifies for
citizenship. GETTY
Anyone born on the island of Ireland or whose parents are Irish automatically qualifies for citizenship. GETTY

The seasonal passport rush is in full swing alongside a general increase in applications.

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Hundreds of temporary staff were recruited at the Irish passport office as it enters its “peak season” for passport applications.

New figures show over 50,000 applications in the system since July 1, an 11pc increase from this time last year.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan addressed the issue in the Dáil saying the situation has improved in recent weeks.

“On 31 May, there were a total of 68,009 applications in the system and this figure has fallen throughout June,” he said in response to Michael Healy Rae urging him to address the issue.

“To respond to the seasonal spike in demand and the more general increase in applications, a total of 233 temporary clerical officers have been recruited so far this year, an increase of 62 on last year.

“Furthermore, processing work has been redistributed across passport offices and staff have been redeployed from other areas of the Department as needed.”

In the wake of the Brexit result Flanagan said there have been no changes to who is “entitled” to an Irish passport.

“While there is likely to be an increase in the number of first-time applications submitted from the UK and British people living overseas, it is too early to assess how significant this will be,” he said.

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