Have Cliffs of Moher, will travel: landmark day for new passports
THE Cliffs of Moher, the Aviva Stadium, the Rock of Cashel and other famous Irish landmarks will appear on the pages of new passports to be rolled out from next month.
Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore will unveil the new passports next week and they will be brought into official use in early October.
Each page will feature Irish landmarks, such as the Samuel Beckett Bridge across the Liffey in Dublin city centre, and scenes reflecting Irish culture and heritage as watermarks.
The Department of Foreign Affairs commissioned landscape pictures and images which reflect aspects of culture and heritage, such as poetry, music, dance and the Irish language.
Some of the images and watermarks under consideration for inclusion included native trees, cultural monuments such as round towers, and images representing the four provinces.
It is understood there was also some discussion within the department about including images from Northern Ireland, since citizens from the North can opt for an Irish passport.
However, it is not clear whether these will be included when the passport is unveiled next week. "The idea was it would reflect all of Ireland, but you don't want to be annoying people," a source said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs declined to provide any more information before the official launch, which takes place next Monday.
The new passport will also have increased security features and is replacing the latest model which was introduced seven years ago.
Mr Gilmore's spokesman said that it was part of a rotation policy to make sure the latest security features were available, and added that it was good practice to update passports regularly.
The new passports will also cost €7 each to produce – half the price of the current passports – and will save €4m a year.
However, it is not clear if this will mean cheaper passports, which currently cost €80 for a 10-year one with 32 pages and €110 for a 66-page, 10-year version.