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Middle-aged men are the biggest fans of the new passport card

More than 13,000 were issued last year.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan with the passport card app.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan with the passport card app.
Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

AROUND 150 PASSPORT cards were issued per day last year since they were introduced in October – and predominately to middle-aged men.

The new credit card sized ID card can be used as a passport when travelling in all 27 other EU Member States, along with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Irish citizens can download a dedicated app to sign up for a card.

According to figures released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs, a total of 13,538 passport cards were issued in 2015, the equivalent of around 153 per day.

There was also a record number of passports issued, just shy of 670,000, and representing an increase of 6.4% compared to the year previous.

In a statement, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said the passport card “reflects the Government’s commitment to the expanded provision of online public services”.

26/1/2015 New Passports Cards and Apps Source: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

“Three quarters of the applicants are based in Ireland with the majority of others based in the UK or the rest of Europe,” he added, and said that 85% of those who have signed up are men with an average age of 43.

Outside of London (68,416 applications) and Northern Ireland (55,059), the most applications received abroad were:

  • Canberra (6,426)
  • New York (5,799)
  • Sydney (3,630)
  • San Francisco (3,430)
  • Pretoria (3,317)

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The peak times were June and July, when more than 80,000 passports were issued each month.

Minister Flanagan said he intends to spend €4 million on reform of the passport application process this year.

Read: Check out Ireland’s swanky new passport card >

About the author:

Nicky Ryan

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