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The Irish consulate in New York issued 7,205 passports last year

In total, the Department of Foreign Affairs issued 733,060 passports in 2016.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

DEMAND FOR IRISH passports by citizens abroad was highest in the US, with New York and San Francisco among the top four busiest consulates.

In total, the Department of Foreign Affairs issued 733,060 passports in 2016, an increase of 9% on the previous year, according to new stats. Of those, 461,911 passports were issued to adults and 24,443 passport cards were issued. There were 512,375 applications received through the Passport Express service, which represents 91% of the total number of applications submitted in Ireland.

Abroad, the Irish Consulate in New York had the highest demand for passports, issuing 7,205 in 2016. This was closely followed by Canberra, San Francisco and Sydney.

According to Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, the Australian capital took the most applications from young Irish people abroad.

“Canberra was the busiest embassy with regard to the arrival of Ireland’s youngest citizens with over 490 applications for infants (presumably with a little help from their parents). Abu Dhabi was also a popular choice for the Irish under three’s with over 300 applicants enjoying the desert heat in 2016.”

Flanagan added that world events impacted applications somewhat.

“There was a strong increase in demand for passports in the first half of the year. This was due to a variety of factors including the fact that more Irish people traveled in the first half of the year; we also had the Euros Championships and a historical spike in applications from 2006 feeding through in the 10-year renewal cycle.

“Following the UK Referendum on EU membership in June passport applications from Northern Ireland saw an increase of 26.5% over 2015 to 67,972 while application levels from Great Britain increased by 40.6% to 64,996.”

Flanagan added that those looking for passports should not wait until the summer rush to apply. On 4 May alone last year, 6,464 passport applications were submitted.

Read: There’s been an increase in queries about Irish passports today

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