Sunday 21 July 2019

Record number of Irish passports issued in 2017

Applications for Irish passports have increased since the Brexit vote
Applications for Irish passports have increased since the Brexit vote

Sasha Brady

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, has said that the number of passports issued in 2017 represents a record high.

Over 779,000 passports were issued in 2017, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs' (DFA) annual report.

Mr Coveney said it is the highest number of Irish passports issued in one year.

"It represents an increase of over 6pc compared to 2016 (itself a record-breaking year), and an increase of over 15pc since 2015," Mr Coveney said in a statement.

The rise in numbers is driven by a Brexit surge in passport applications from Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Overall, almost one-in-five applications were from Great Britain or Northern Ireland.

Outside of Dublin the biggest demand for Irish passports was at the consulate in New York (6,345 applications).

This was followed by Canberra (5,077), San Francisco (4,336), Sydney (2,990) and Pretoria (2,913).

Meanwhile, the report showed that 100,000 Irish citizens renewed their passport through the Online Passport Renewal Service since it was launched in March.

The service allows Irish citizens to renew their passports through mobile phones, PC's and tablets through the DFA's website.

The turnaround times are ahead of the 10 workdays plus postage target.

Up to 38,000 people applied for the Passport Card in 2017. The card, launched in 2016 and designed to fit inside a wallet, allows Irish citizens to travel through the EU, EEA and Switzerland.

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