Saturday 24 August 2019

Surge in 'highly valuable' Irish passport applications 'down to Brexit vote' - TD

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

The number of Irish passports issued in 2016 is up by almost 10pc, with Brexit said to have a "significant impact" on the number of applications.

The Department of Foreign Affairs estimates that up to 740,000 passports will be issued this year.

The figure represents over 67,000 more than were issued in 2015.

Fianna Fail Foreign Affairs spokesman Darragh O'Brien said the surge in applications shows that people in Britain who are eligible for Irish passports are keen to retain the benefits of European Union citizenship.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said that underlying demand for passports in 2016 was already running at an increase of more than 9pc before the Brexit referendum.

An increase in outbound travel, the Euro 2016 football tournament and a spike in renewals of passports issued in 2006 were reasons cited by the Department.

Dublin Fingal TD Mr O'Brien also put it down to the decision of UK voters to leave the EU.

"Undoubtedly, Brexit has had a significant impact on the numbers applying for an Irish passport," he said.

"Since the referendum result was announced we have seen a spike in the amount of applications received by the passport office.

"Being the owner of an Irish passport has always been regarded as highly valuable and has now become even more respected as it represents a gateway to the EU," he added.

"The increase in those applying for an Irish passport also underscores the fact that despite the outcome of the referendum there are many people who are keen to retain the benefits associated with EU membership and the fundamental principle of free movement."

Herald

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