One-in-10 Irish passports issued in Britain during record-breaking 2015

One-in-10 Irish passports issued in Britain during record-breaking 2015

A RECORD number of Irish passports were issued in 2015 with one-in-10 applications being received in London, according to the Irish Government.

A total of 669,806 Irish passports were granted last year, which is a six per cent increase on 2014.

There were 68,416 applications received through the London Passport Office, with 55,059 applications made in Northern Ireland.

The Irish Embassy in Canberra had the highest demand for passports (6,436), followed by New York (5,799) and Sydney (3,630).

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD announced the figures today, highlighting June and July as the busiest months with 13 per cent of passport applications made during this two-month period.

Last year also welcomed the introduction of the new Passport Cards, of which 13,538 were supplied.

The innovative card can be used as a Passport document in all 27 other EU Member States along with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

Minister Flanagan said: “2015 has been a very busy year for the Passport Service with a record number of passports issued. This represents a growth of 6.41 per cent over 2014 and we expect this trend to continue in the coming years.

“The [Passport] card has been an Irish-led and Irish-designed project that uses cutting edge technology and security features to provide high levels of convenience to customers.”

Around 85 per cent of Passport Cards have been issued to men, with the average age of applicants being 43 years old, and three quarters of the applicants are based in Ireland.

Minister Flanagan also confirmed the allocation of €4million in 2016, to create a more streamlined passport service.

“There have been significant improvements in customer service in recent years including the introduction of rapid renewal passport services, an appointments system in our passport offices and on-line tracking of applications,” he added.