Record number of Irish passports issued in 2015

The Irish embassy in Canberra had the highest demand for passports

Irish passports, numbers, Department of Foreign Affairs, Passport Card, applications, Canberra,

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

New figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs show a record number of passports were issued last year.

Some 669,806 Irish passports and 13,538 new passport cards were issued in 2015 - a growth of 6.41%.

June and July were the busiest months for passport applications.

The Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan says he expects this trend to continue.

"This has also been a special year with the launch of new passport card in October of which I am particularly proud," he said.

"The card has been an Irish-led and Irish-designed project that uses cutting edge technology and security features to provide high levels of convenience to customers".

The card is valid as a passport in all 27 other EU Member States along with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

More than 13,500 cards have issued - of which almost 85% to men and the average age of applicants is 43.

Three-quarters of the applicants are based in Ireland - with the majority of others based in the UK or the rest of Europe.

The passport reform programme - to which €4m has been allocated for 2016 - will see a more streamlined system to process passport applications in the coming years.

Passports by numbers in 2015:

  • 669,806 passports issued in 2015
  • 413,194 passports issued to adults
  • 480,829 applications Received through Passport Express, which represents a 3.67% increase over 2014
  • 68,416 applications were received through the London Passport Office
  • 55,059 applications were received through the Northern Ireland Passport Express service
  • The Irish Embassy in Canberra had the highest demand for passports, issuing 6,436
  • The following diplomatic offices had the highest demand after Canberra: New York (5,799); Sydney (3,630); San Francisco (3,430); and Pretoria (3,317)
  • 85,239 passports issued in July 2015 and 80,083 passports issued in June 2015