Passport Office forced to recruit 230 extra staff to meet demand for Irish passports since Brexit
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Passport Office forced to recruit 230 extra staff to meet demand for Irish passports since Brexit

IRELAND’S Department of Foreign Affairs says the Passport Office is recruiting extra staff to cope with the increase in Irish passport applications since the Brexit vote.

In a statement, the department said Brexit has resulted in a rise in submissions from Northern Ireland and Britain.

The latest figures available show that in January, there were 6,000 applications from Britain for Irish passports, an increase of 74 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Over 7,000 people from Northern Ireland submitted applications for an Irish passport last month; in January 2016 the figure stood at just 3,973.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said the department was having to recruit 230 temporary staff members to cope with demand.

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Mr Flanagan said: "Early indicators in 2017 are showing that increased demand for passports is likely to be sustained, certainly in the immediate future. I am carefully monitoring passport services.

"It is vital that applicants check the validity of their passports before booking travel, apply in good time, ensure forms are correctly completed, and consult the different turnaround times for different categories of passport."

Anyone who has a parent or grandparent born in Ireland is entitled to apply for an Irish passport.

Last September, a number of British MPs and Lords were revealed to have applied for dual Irish citizenship following the country’s vote to leave the European Union in June.

It is estimated that as many as 16million British citizens are entitled to an Irish passport, more than three times the actual population of Ireland.

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Back in November, the Irish Passport Office revealed that 700,000 Irish passports had been issued in 2016, a new record.