More than 230,000 passport applications received this year
Department prepares for 300,000 extra requests in event of UK crashing out of EU
During St Patrick’s weekend in 2018, over 2,500 people applied for passports using the online service. Based on current trends, the department said it expects to see that number double this year. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The Passport Service has received more than 230,000 passport applications to date in 2019, a 30 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has said it is preparing for 300,000 additional applications for Irish passports this year – an increase of more than one-third – in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
There has already been a surge in applications since the UK voted to leave the EU in 2016 and applications have increased as Brexit day, on March 29th, edges closer.
During St Patrick’s weekend in 2018, more than 2,500 people applied using the online service. Based on current trends, the department said it expects to see that number double this year.
New records were set in 2018 when the Passport Service issued more than 860,000 passports. More than a fifth of applications came from the UK.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said reasons for the increase in demand, included a tendency towards early renewal and an increase in the number of Irish people travelling.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney urged people to check their passports and asked that parents and guardians check their children’s passports.
“Every year we get hundreds of cases of the parents being ready to go on holiday, bags packed, but the night before they realise one of their children’s passports is out. The quickest and most convenient way to get a passport is to use the award-winning online service,”he said.
“Given the demand we are experiencing, significant extra resources have been given to the passport service including hundreds of extra staff for processing and customer service.”
The department has increased staff numbers at the service to prepare for the increased Brexit-related workload. The number of permanent staff has increased by 20 per cent in the past 12 months and approval has been granted for 230 temporary clerical offices across the three passport offices.