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,

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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