Additional Staff To Be Hired To Deal With Passport Demand

The Passport Office is to hire additional staff due to the increased demand for passports as a result of Brexit.

Applications for Irish passports from the UK were up 74% in January 2017, compared to the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Anyone with a parent or grandparent born in Ireland is entitled to an Irish passport.

Speaking to RTÉ, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said that more than 230 temporary staff are to be brought into the passport service in an effort to deal with the increase in applications.

Addressing the issue, Sinn Féin renewed it's call for an Irish Passport Officer in Northern Ireland.

Speaking the Seanad, Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile, said: "There can be no doubt that this demand will be sustained and likely increase due to the British Government's reckless Brexit.

"This unprecedented demand has led to the Office employing an additional 230 staff to meet the need. There is an identifiable need for an Irish Passport Office in the North.

"These statistics indicate clearly that the Government can take not only an important symbolic, positive and unilateral initiative to locate an Office in the Six Counties but that such a move would make strategic and logistical sense, as well as creating further new jobs in the North.

"The huge increase in Irish and therefore European Passports indicates clearly that there should be Special Designated Status for the North within the EU and the Irish Government should stand with the rest of us in making that case."


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