Post-Brexit surge in demand for Irish passports

Britons can be eligible for an Irish passport if a parent or grandparent was born in Ireland. Picture: Getty Images
Britons can be eligible for an Irish passport if a parent or grandparent was born in Ireland. Picture: Getty Images
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Applications for Irish passports from within the UK continue to surge, latest figures from the Irish Government reveal.

The number applying for Irish citizenship both in Northern Ireland and Great Britain between January and June is up significantly on the same six-month period in 2016.

The authorities in Dublin have previously acknowledged the Brexit vote as a key factor in the ongoing increase, with application numbers having soared since the UK’s vote to leave the EU in June last year.

As one of the 27 remaining member states anyone with an Irish passport will retain EU citizenship post-Brexit.

READ MORE: UK demand for Irish passports surges in wake of Brexit

Under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement, anyone from Northern Ireland is eligible for an Irish passport. People from Great Britain must prove a close family link to an Irish citizen.

In Northern Ireland, there have been 53,547 applications between January and June. In the same period last year there were 37,537 - a rise of 43%.

In regard to applications from Great Britain, there have been 45,307 so far this year, with 27,671 between January and June 2016 - a 64% increase.

The number of applications from the UK this year are on course to be well ahead of 2016.

In 2017 so far there have been a combined 98,854, compared to 65,208 applications in the same period last year.

READ MORE: Post-Brexit demand for Irish passports hits new heights

Across the whole of last year there were a total of 132,968 from the UK (67,972 in NI and 64,996 in GB) - a figure that also includes re-submitted applications, unlike the in-year date published by the Irish Government on Wednesday.

Overall, applications for Irish passports in the first six months of this year are up 10%, with more than 500,000 passports having been issued since January.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the introduction of an online application process in March had helped deal with the high demand.

“Online renewals now account for almost 17% of all applications, well ahead of initial projections,” he said.