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An example of one identity cards.
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Most of 500,000 identity cards in Ireland issued to social welfare claimants

Almost 239,000 of these cards have been issued in Dublin.

NEW FIGURES FROM the Department of Social Protection revel that more than half a million new identity cards have been issued to citizens across the country, with most issued to those either on a social welfare payment or seeking to claim one.

The new figures, which were released to TD Tommy Broughan through a parliamentary question, show that 555,000 Public Service Cards (PSCs) have already been rolled out with almost 239,000 of these issued in Dublin.

The cards, according to Minister Joan Burton, are part of a programme of work “establishing and authenticating an individual’s identity for the purposes of access to public services”.

In her response to Broughan, Burton stated that the purpose of the card is “to enable individuals to gain access to public services more efficiently and with a minimum of duplication of effort, while at the same time preserving their privacy to the maximum extent possible”.

The cards are issued after a registration process which involves having a photograph taken, giving a signature and verifying data already held by the department.

The minister said registration for the new cards on a face-to-face basis has already taken place in 59 local Department of Social Protection offices and that the majority of the cards that have been issued to date have been given to people who were “in the process of making a claim for, or were in receipt of, a social protection payment”.

Deputy Broughan questioned the need for this new identity card on top of individuals already having PPS numbers, driving licences and passports, commenting that some of his constituents were “unhappy with the demands placed on them by the department to attend at their local office to have their details taken”.

Read: Over 263,000 Public Services Cards issued to social welfare claimants>

Explainer: What is the Public Services Card?

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