Brexit sparks rush for Irish passports as unusually high numbers look to apply in Northern Ireland
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Brexit sparks rush for Irish passports as unusually high numbers look to apply in Northern Ireland

THERE has been an increase in the number of people in Northern Ireland applying for Irish passports since Friday's EU referendum result.

According to the Post Office service, its offices in Northern Ireland experienced a surge in interest for the Republic of Ireland travel document after Britain voted to leave the EU.

"We have seen an unusually high number of people in Northern Ireland seeking Irish passport applications, though we do not have exact numbers or a breakdown by branch," a Post Office spokesperson told The Irish Post.

There are 484 Post Office branches in Northern Ireland, with 70 of those carrying passport application forms.

By Saturday, one post office in Belfast had run out of Irish passport application forms.

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According to a sign at the city's central post office it was expecting an "emergency order" of forms tomorrow.

The Irish Embassy in London confirmed to The Irish Post that there was an increase on Friday in the number of queries from people looking for information about obtaining an Irish passport.

"There has been an increase in queries in respect of entitlements to Irish passports," a spokesperson said. "However reports of queues outside the passport offices are incorrect and the passport offices in Dublin and Cork are operating as normal."

The Embassy, whose London passport office is located on Cromwell Road, said it would be closely monitoring the situation with respect to the impact on applications and the deployment of passport service staff.

"It is important to note that while UK voters have voted to leave the EU, this process will take some time and UK passport holders continue to enjoy the rights of EU citizens until a formal exit occurs. Under the Treaties, it is envisaged this is a process that will take at least two years," the spokesperson added.

"The entitlements to Irish citizenship/passports including those born on the island of Ireland and those claiming citizenship through parents or grandparents born in Ireland is unchanged as a result of the referendum."

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The increase in interest in Irish passports has been echoed in Northern Ireland by a rise in searches for the term 'Irish Passport' on Google. It increased by about 33-fold between last Thursday and Friday.

Ian Paisley Jr, the Democratic Unionist Party's (DUP) MP for North Antrim and son of former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley, also took to Twitter to recommended that anyone who is eligible for an Irish passport should apply for one.

Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs has advised anyone looking to apply for an Irish passport to get the full facts before submitting an application.

You can find further information here.

Have you applied for an Irish passport in the wake of the EU referendum? If so, get in touch by emailing [email protected]