Record-breaking 779,000 Irish passports issued this year

Over 100,000 passport applications processed through new online system

More than 100,000 passports were issued through the new online renewal system which began in March.  Photograph: Alan Betson

More than 100,000 passports were issued through the new online renewal system which began in March. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

The total of 779,000 Irish passports issued in 2017 was the highest ever in a single year, the Government has confirmed.

It represents a 6 per cent increase on the previous record of 733,000 set last year and a 15 per cent increase on figures for 2015 following a surge for Irish passports in the aftermath of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

In an annual report, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said one in five passport applications were received from Irish citizens living in Northern Ireland and Britain.

The department’s New York mission received the highest number of passport applications of any consular office around the world at 6,300, followed by missions in Canberra and San Francisco.

There are around 6,000 applications in the system for 2017 which were either unsuccessful or are yet to be worked through.

Figures released by Tánaiste Simon Coveney earlier this month showed that some 162,000 passport applications had been made from Britain and Northern Ireland up to December this year, almost twice as many as in 2014.

Meanwhile, the annual report also revealed that more than 100,000 passports were issued through the new online renewal system which began in March, and turnaround times for the service are ahead of the target of 10 working days plus postage.

Some 38,000 people availed of the Passport Card in 2017 following its launch the previous year. The credit card-sized passport grants entry to all EU and EEA countries as well as Switzerland.

Mr Coveney said the increased rate of passport issuance is a testament to the hard work of staff in his department, and he encouraged prospective travellers in 2018 to be cognisant of their passport expiry date.