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Saturday 1 October 2016

Trump prompts rush for Irish passports

Rachel Lavin

Published 08/05/2016 | 02:30

While Trump’s popular support has steadily grown, his proposals have caused considerable controversy and outcry. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
While Trump’s popular support has steadily grown, his proposals have caused considerable controversy and outcry. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Irish passport applications from US citizens have increased by 14pc since Republican candidate Donald J Trump announced his presidential bid in June 2015.

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This comes as Trump became the only remaining Republican candidate following both Ted Cruz and John Kasich's decision to drop out of the Republican nomination race last Wednesday.

The real-estate tycoon and former US Apprentice star is now the presumed Republican nominee, most likely facing off with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential race.

While Trump's popular support has steadily grown, his proposals have caused considerable controversy and outcry, in particular those suggesting barring Muslims from entering the United States, building a wall along the Mexican border and killing the families of terrorists.

Many American public figures are now threatening to emigrate should Trump be elected, including pop singer Miley Cyrus, actress and writer Lena Dunham and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, with large numbers of American citizens said to be considering following suit.

And new figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs suggest that Ireland may be the destination of choice for those preparing to flee an America led by Trump.

First-time passport applications from US-born citizens have increased by 14pc in the nine months since Trump began his campaign, growing from 3,117 to 3,558 when compared with the same period preceding it.

Meanwhile, some destinations in Ireland are aiming to capitalise on the prospective exodus, with the island of Inishturk off the coast of Co Mayo advertising itself as an ideal spot for those looking to relocate.

"I've heard there are quite a few people in America looking to move to Ireland and to other countries if Donald Trump becomes president," Inishturk Development Officer Mary Heanue told US-based website Irish Central.

"I'd like them to know that we would love to see them consider moving over here."

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