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Dublin: 5 °C Tuesday 19 February, 2019
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20% of Irish passports issued this year were for people in Northern Ireland and Great Britain

Ths year saw the highest number of Irish passports ever issued in one year.

Image: samboal

IRISH PASSPORTS WON’T be changing colour any time soon, but they certainly are in demand in Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

According to the latest figures on Irish passports issued to date in 2017, 20% of all those issued this year went to Irish citizens in the north and Britain.

Said the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, TD:

The number of applicants from Northern Ireland and Great Britain has continued to rise. Overall, almost 20% of the total number of applications received by the Passport Service this year were from Irish citizens in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

It was another record year for Irish passports, as 779,000 passports were issued in 2017. That’s up from 2016′s also record-breaking figure of 740k.

The Tánaiste said:

“This is the highest number of Irish passports ever issued in one year. It represents an increase of over 6% compared to 2016 (itself a record-breaking year), and an increase of over 15% since 2015.”

The Passport Service has undertaken what Coveney described as an “ambitious reform programme to meet the unprecedented demand for passports from Irish citizens at home and abroad”, which is also looking at how to “continuously strengthen systems guarding against fraud and protecting the integrity of the Irish passport”.

To cope with the demand, it launched an online passport renewal service in March of this year. This enables Irish citizens to renew their passport online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

So far, over 100,000 passports have been issued following online applications.

Over 38,000 Irish citizens went for the passport card, which was introduced in 2016.

But Coveney took the opportunity to remind people not to lose sight of their passport’s expiry date, and to apply for renewal outside of the peak season.

Minister of State Ciarán Cannon, TD added that for those Irish citizens choosing to apply through Irish Embassies and Consulates during 2017, the Irish Consulate in New York continued to be the location with the highest demand for passports, followed by Canberra, San Francisco, Sydney and Pretoria.

Passport stats in 2017

  • Passport applications: 785,026
  • Passports issued: 779,184
  • Passports issued to adults: 494,297
  • Passports issued to children: 284,887
  • Passport cards issued: 38,452
  • Passport cards issued to men: 26,154
  • Passport cards issued to women: 12,298

Passports applications by location

  • New York 6,345
  • Canberra 5,077
  • San Francisco 4,336
  • Sydney 2,990
  • Pretoria 2,913
  • Ottawa 2,826
  • Chicago 2,124
  • Paris 1,997
  • Auckland 1,870
  • Boston 1,667
  • Berlin 1,567
  • Madrid 1,480
  • Abu Dhabi 1,451
  • Washington 1,020
  • Berne 762
  • The Hague 684
  • Hong Kong 597
  • Brussels 591
  • Singapore 509
  • Riyadh 435

According to AA Ireland, 13% of people have arrived at an airport to discover that they had forgotten their passport. Overall, 15.77% of men reported doing this, compared to 9.87% of women. Its AA Travel Insurance survey also found that over 1 in 10 Irish people have either lost or had their passport stolen at some stage in their lives.

Read: ‘Stunning Brexit victory’: The Sun claims credit for UK passports becoming blue again>

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