Record demand for Irish passports in 2016

While 75% of people looking for the new passport cards are men...

Record demand for Irish passports in 2016

File photo | Image: RollingNews.ie

Ireland issued 740,000 passports this year, with the record demand being attributed chiefly to Brexit.

The country's participation in Euro 2016 over the summer also drove higher than usual demand, piling pressure on the passport office during the year's usual peak time.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan has admitted that the UK's decision to leave the EU may have played a significant role, but said people aren't required to give reasons for applying for a passport so it can't be known for certain.

He said:

"It's been a very busy and challenging year for the passport office, but I'm pleased to say that they've met all challenges presented to them.

"There was increased demand for a variety of reasons – the Euros, the Olympics and I acknowledge that Brexit may have played a significant role."

One in six requests for an Irish passport this year were made by citizens from the North (a total of 65,136) or from Britain (some 59,377).

May was the busiest month, with 96,356 applications being made. Surges were also seen in August, October and November. 

Some 25,000 have availed of the newly-introduced passport card, though it has been predominantly men doing so thus far.

Flanagan said:

"One anomaly is that some 75% of the take up for the passport card is male.

"So we'd like to see more women, and more people in general availing of that. Finally, our DFA travel wise app has also been a huge success – downloaded by nearly 10,000 people."