NEWS
31/12/2018 09:52 GMT

Almost 200,000 British Citizens Apply For Irish Passports in 'Record Breaking' Year

The figures, which represent a rise of more than a fifth, come three months before the UK is due to leave the European Union.

Nearly 200,000 British citizens in the UK applied for an Irish passport in a “record breaking” past 12 months.

The figure represents a 22% rise on the previous year in applications from England, Scotland and Wales, and a 2% rise from Northern Ireland, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said.

Minister Simon Coveney said the total had risen since the Brexit vote in June 2016, adding that it was a “record breaking” year.

Out of the total number of applications received this year by the Passport Service, 84,855 applications were from Northern Ireland and 98,544 applications were received from Great Britain.

A total of 822,581 travel documents were issued.

Coveney said: “The success of the online passport renewal service was recognised during the year at the CX Impact Awards, where it won the Impact in Digital award, and was ranked as the top Irish public sector organisation in terms of customer experience for the third year in a row.

“It is important that the Passport Service continues to use technology in order to gain efficiencies and deliver the best possible service to the citizen.

“This expanded service is an example of that, and will permit all citizens, both adults and children, to renew their passports online 24/7 from anywhere in the world.”

Anybody born in Ireland or Northern Ireland, or with an Irish parent or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport – a total of about 6 million British citizens. They are able to hold dual citizenship.