Record number of Irish passports issued in 2019
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Record number of Irish passports issued in 2019

THERE were a record number of Irish passports issued in 2019, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

More than 900,000 passports were issued, breaking the record of 822,000 set last year, an increase of 7 per cent.

Brexit appears to have been a factor in applications, with more than 94,000 first-time applications from people born in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

However, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, also attributed the increase to the expansion of online application services.

'Valuable document'

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"2019 was another bumper year for the passport service," he said.

“The award-winning 'Passport Online' expanded in 2019 to include first-time applicants in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Europe.

"Irish citizens including children can also renew their passports online 24/7, from anywhere in the world."

He added: "The Irish passport is a valuable document and we continue to strengthen all processes to prevent fraud and maintain its integrity and security."

Most popular surname

During peak periods, more than 5,800 applications were submitted from around the world in a single day.

Meanwhile, total monthly applications exceeded 100,000 in January, March, April and May.

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For those who applied through Embassies and Consulates abroad, the cities that received the most applications were New York, Pretoria, Canberra, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi, Ottawa, Sydney, Paris, Chicago and Berlin.

The most popular surname of applicants worldwide was Murphy.

The number of people applying for citizenship through Foreign Births Registration was 29,000, with over 16,000 applications processed — the highest number ever registered in a single year.