Brexit-induced rush for Irish passports is baffling

Brexit-induced rush for Irish passports is baffling

IT was hard to envisage that Brexit would interfere with so many people’s holidays.

The long delays in getting an Irish passport have been well-documented here in Ireland and it would seem that we all know someone who has been affected.

Such is the way in Ireland that some people’s holidays have only been saved by the intervention of a local TD.

Apparently this is all due to Brexit.

It is all due to people in the UK who qualify for an Irish passport now taking up that option.

Of course that still leaves the fact that the authorities here have been flagging this uptake in passport applications for a couple of years now so could they not have foreseen this might happen?

Could they not have taken on extra staff?

Could it not have been that simple?

The flocking towards an Irish passport does seem to be a phenomenon though and I have to say I find it a very odd one.

I got my first passport back in the mid-1980s. It was an Irish one and I never wanted any other.

I can’t imagine though that if I had a British one Brexit would make me want to get an Irish one.

I don’t quite understand the link.

I have even heard of English people living in Ireland deciding to get an Irish one through the residency rule. All because of Brexit.

But why? After all if you’d lived through Thatcher, Hillsborough, the Hunger Strikes or the Iraq War would Brexit make you so ashamed of being British it would be the final straw?

And if the politics or culture isn’t the point then what is?

Britain is about to leave the EU, and I am firmly one of those who thinks that is a crazy, sad, misguided decision, but Britain is not about to become a pariah State.

Lots and lots, as in most, people travel around the world, travel around the EU, without EU passports.

The Swiss do it. The Norwegians do it. People from Iceland do it. The Canadians do it. The Australians.

The list of those without EU passports is long but I don’t think for one minute it’s a list of people who find travel any more difficult because of that.

Is the stampede to get an Irish passport just to avoid having to go in a different queue?

People from the UK, people with British passports that will no longer have the red EU cover, will still be able to go where they went to before and it won’t really be any more difficult.

Brexit is a cultural calamity and a retrograde, reactionary retreat.

But it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get on a plane.

Of course we do things in our own peculiar way here. A few months ago my father was one of many who every year undergo a cataract operation.

The way we do it here though is that a local TD, yes the same one who will also sort out your passport, organised a coach so that citizens from the southerly tip of Ireland avoided waiting lists.

They avoided the incredibly lengthy waiting lists by getting on the coach and traveling the full length of Ireland to cross the border and have the operation in the UK.

The same principle seemed to apply with passports.

People were told that Irish passports wouldn’t come through in time for pre-booked holidays but if they went over the border to Belfast that a British one could be issued that day.

What kind of State are we in if we have to cross into another jurisdiction to get passports or have operations? How does that make any sense?

They say, in terms of news, that summer is the silly season.

Daft items make the headlines because parliaments don’t sit and nothing really happens.

That doesn’t seem to apply anymore, not now we have Trump.

If it did, though, the passport story would make the best silly season headline yet.

Because it doesn’t make any sense how Ireland has dealt with it and it doesn’t make any sense why UK residents are doing it in the first place.