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Chaos returns to the passport office

Warning: don’t book your flight unless you’ve got an up-to-date passport.

Extended queues outside the Passport Office during the dispute in March 2010
Extended queues outside the Passport Office during the dispute in March 2010
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

PROSPECTIVE HOLIDAYMAKERS are being advised not to book their flights unless all their documentation is up to date.

The warning comes as a huge backlog of applications builds up at the Passport Office.

Requests for passports are running 13 per cent higher than at the same time last year, when there were delays of up to five weeks in processing applications, and chaotic scenes at the Passport Office.

According to the Passport Office, applications submitted using the Passport Express service, which should take just ten days, are taking between 11 and 13, a situation that’s expected to continue until at least 3 June. Applications made through regular post take at least 4 to 6 weeks under normal circumstances.

Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore told RTE’s Morning Ireland that temporary staff had been recruited to work on the backlog, and he hoped to get it down in the coming week.

However, the Irish Times reports that on two days last week, 5,200 applications were received – a whopping 700 more than the previous record of applications made on a single day.

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Have you applied for a new passport? Tell us how long you’ve been waiting – or how long you had to wait if you applied recently:


Poll Results:

Haven't applied recently (222)
Ten to 14 days (57)
More than 6 weeks (30)
2-4 weeks (26)
Less than a week (19)
4-6 weeks (11)






About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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