UK demand for Irish passports hits record high

Roughly 6.7 million people in the UK are eligible for an Irish passport...

UK demand for Irish passports hits record high

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Concerns over a looming Brexit are prompting more and more Brits to consider a move across the Irish Sea. 

Demand for Irish citizenship and passports hit a record high in the UK on the same day that British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 to commence the process of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

According to the Irish Independent, figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that on March 28th there was a rush at the Irish Embassy in London for passport applications.

The embassy received a record total of 770 requests, with staff struggling to cope with demand. The final week in March contained the three busiest days in recent times at its passport office.

Senior embassy official Donal O'Connell wrote in an email on March 21st that an "urgent sanction" was required from HQ for paid overtime to deal with the backlog. He noted that the embassy had "over 1,700 unopened emails requiring attention".

Demand for passports from people with Irish heritage jumped by 94% in March compared to the same period in 2016.

The 8,297 passports that were sought that month could be a drop in the ocean compared to demand once Brexit gets closer, with the Irish Government looking to hire consultants to forecast how demand will increase as Brexit gets closer. 

There are roughly 6.7 million people in the UK who are eligible to apply for an Irish passport.