The boom in Irish passport applications continues
Irish citizens, irrespective of where they live, are entitled to carry Irish passports. There has been significant increase in demand for passports in recent months. While the DFA does not compile information on why citizens apply for passports, it is reasonable to assume, based on the trends in applications from Northern Ireland and Great Britain, that the outcome of the UK referendum on EU membership is one of the factors that has led to an increase in demand.
(Other factors include a 13% increase in outbound travel in 2016 compared to the previous year, a large contingent of Irish citizens travelling overseas for the Euros and a spike in applications in 2006 feeding through in renewals ten years later).
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan stated:
“Early indicators in 2017 are showing that increased demand for passports is likely to be sustained, certainly in the immediate future. We are in the course of delivering a major Passport Reform Programme which will ensure significant customer service improvements to benefit citizens in the near future. This includes the introduction of online adult renewals which will mean a more efficient service for applicants. I expect to start rolling out this programme before the end of March this year.
“In the short term, to respond to the increase in demand, the Passport Service is recruiting over 230 Temporary Clerical Officers, over half of which are already in place.
“I am carefully monitoring passport services and discussed the matter with my officials today.
“It is vital that applicants check the validity of their passports before booking travel, apply in good time, ensure forms are correctly completed, and consult the different turnaround times for different categories of passport.”
For the most recent statistics for 2017 visit the DFA website: https://www.dfa.ie/passporttracking/passportstatistics/