Severe weather causing delay in issuing passports, says Simon Coveney

Minister for Foreign Affairs tells Dáil staff worked on bank holiday to clear backlog

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the passport  service was back to an “acceptable benchmark’’ in terms of online applications. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the passport service was back to an “acceptable benchmark’’ in terms of online applications. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

The recent severe weather has caused a delay in issuing passports, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said.

“We actually had to close our services down because we could not get staff into the passport office for a number of days,’’ he added.

Mr Coveney said passport teams worked on the Monday bank holiday in an effort to catch up and get back to the turnaround times created last year.

He said whether it was an online or postal application, the service was endeavouring with some success to get back to where it was in January and the end of last year.

Turnaround times

The turnaround times then were three weeks for the postal service and two weeks for an online application.

He said the service was back to an “acceptable benchmark’’ in terms of online applications.

Many services in the country had been affected by the severe weather, he said.

Mr Coveney was replying in the Dáil on Thursday to Fianna Fáil foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O’Brien, who claimed the system was not robust.

“The reality is that the resourcing within the service has decreased year on year,’’ said Mr O’Brien.