Newstalk
Newstalk

09.01 31 Dec 2018


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300 extra staff are being employed to cope with demand for Irish passports.

It comes after the Passport Service issued more than 822,000 passports this year.

During peak periods, over 6,500 applications were submitted in a single day.

There's been a 22% increase in the number of applications from Great Britain, and a 2% increase from people living in Northern Ireland.

The figures also show that 4,749 were reported lost, while 2,758 were reported stolen.

The most popular names in 2018 - based on passport applications for infants - were Emma, Caoimhe, Sarah, Amy, Niamh, Aoife and Chloe for girls, and Conor, James, Daniel, Jack, Sean, Cian and Adam for boys.

Responding to the newly-released passport figures, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney welcomed the rise in UK applications.

He observed: "Last year [there was] a 22% increase of people who were eligible for Irish passports living in Britain actually applying for them.

"That has put obviously pressure on our systems to turn out more passports - but also it means more people will be holders of Irish passports now, which I think is a good thing."

He added: "As the Brexit process plays out, as more and more people want to hold on to the benefits of being an EU citizen as well as an Irish citizen, and if they're living in the UK... I think a lot of people who are eligible for an Irish passport are now thinking about accessing that passport, in a way that they wouldn't have three or four years ago."

The Passport Service is expecting another record-breaking year in 2019, and is employing an extra 300 staff for its offices in Dublin city centre, Balbriggan and Cork.


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