Record 900,000 passport applications in 2019 – 94,000 from UK
Lowest number of applications from a county in Ireland was 627 from Fermanagh
Monthly applications for Irish passports exceeded 100,000 in January, March, April and May 2019. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien
A record breaking 900,000 passports have been issued this year, up more than 63,000 on 2018.
As in previous years, there was a significant number of applicants – more than 94,000 – from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Applications exceeded 100,000 a month in January, March, April and May.
At the height of demand more then 5,800 applications were submitted from around the world in a single day.
Brexit saw a surge in demand for passports from Irish citizens living in the UK. The tallies for February and March cleared 11,000 each month coming up to a Brexit deadline. October also saw a surge to 7,208 ahead of another proposed – but missed – Halloween deadline for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Of the applications in 2019, 84,972 came from Dublin, while the county with the least number of applicants was Fermanagh, at 627. In all, almost 19,000 applications came from the six counties that make up Northern Ireland.
The oldest online applicant was 101 and the youngest just five days old.
The most popular baby girls’ names were Grace, Emily and Anna, while Jack, James and Noah topped the baby boys’ list. The most popular surname worldwide on applications was Murphy.
The number of people applying for citizenship through Foreign Births Registration continues to grow with more than 29,000 applications in 2019 and over 16,000 applications processed. This is the highest number ever registered in a single year.
The Passport Office said it had revamped its service and that faster turnaround times included five working days for simple renewals, 10 working days for complex renewals and 20 working days for first-time applicants, excluding postage delivery time.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said it was another “bumper year” for the passport service.
“The award-winning Passport Online [service] expanded in 2019 to include first-time applicants in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Europe. Irish citizens, including children, can also renew their passports online 24/7, from anywhere in the world,” he said.
Mr Coveney thanked passport office staff who he said offer “a modern, secure and efficient” service.
“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,” he said.