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Coveney criticises TDs' passport role

 

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Tanaiste Simon Coveney Photo: Steve Humphreys

Tanaiste Simon Coveney Photo: Steve Humphreys

Tanaiste Simon Coveney Photo: Steve Humphreys

Tanaiste Simon Coveney has hit out at TDs using their office to fast-track passport applications.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said the department may intervene in exceptional cases if a TD makes a representation, but said public representatives should not be encouraging people to view their office as the first port of call when they need a passport.

Mr Coveney insisted it is not quicker for people to go through their TD compared with applying online or through the normal channels.

"The only time I think TDs should be involved here is in a special case outside the norm," he said.

"We shouldn't have TDs' offices being set up as passport delivery systems. There are a small number of TDs that encourage that and it is not helpful."

There is a system in place currently which sees a dedicated channel in place between the passport office and TDs.

Mr Coveney himself has made representations on behalf of constituents, but he said: "People should only go to their TD if there is a fundamental problem here... otherwise we have a duplication," he said.

Political interventions can also sometimes add to delays for passports, the Tánaiste said.

The current turnaround for online applications is three days, he pointed out.

Irish Independent