Friday 24 January 2020

Record 900,000 people applied for Irish passport in 2019

Almost a million Irish passports were issued this year (Brian Lawless/PA)
Almost a million Irish passports were issued this year (Brian Lawless/PA)
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

A RECORD 900,000 people applied for an Irish passport this year, ranging in age from five days to 101 years.

More than one in 10 Irish passports now being issued is being given to a UK resident, showing the major impact Brexit is having.

Figures released by the Department of Foreign Affairs show March was the busiest month on record ever for passport applications.

This point coincided with the original date on which the UK was due to leave the European Union.

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A total of 112,902 passports were issued that month alone, including 5,581 on March 12.

Total monthly applications exceeded 100,000 in January, March, April and May.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney described 2019 as a "bumper year for the passport service".

"The Irish passport is a valuable document and we continue to strengthen all processes to prevent fraud and maintain its integrity and security," he said.

"Finally, as we approach 2020, I would remind all prospective travellers to check the validity of their passport before booking a trip overseas. If you need to renew your passport, I encourage you to do so online and in the off-peak period, to ensure the shortest possible renewal time."

Based on passport applications, the most popular baby girl names this year were Grace, Emily and Anna, while Jack, James and Noah topped the boys' list.

The most popular surname worldwide was Murphy, followed by Kelly and Walsh.

More than 94,000 first-time applications were received from people born in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

For those who applied through embassies and consulates abroad, the cities that got the most applications were New York, Pretoria, Canberra, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi, Ottawa, Sydney, Paris, Chicago and Berlin.

The number of people applying for citizenship through Foreign Births Registration continues to grow, with more than 29,000 applications in 2019 and more than 16,000 applications processed.

This is the highest number ever registered in a single year.

Irish Independent

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