Nearly one million Irish passports issued in 2019 following surge in demand

More than 900,000 Irish travel documents were issued in 2019. Picture: Sarah-Rose\cropped\CC\Flicker
More than 900,000 Irish travel documents were issued in 2019. Picture: Sarah-Rose\cropped\CC\Flicker
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Almost a million Irish passports were issued this year, following a surge of demand due to Brexit from people living in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

The new record represents a 7 per cent increase on the previous year, the Government said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said: "2019 was another bumper year for the Passport Service. 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."

More than 900,000 Irish travel documents were issued in 2019. During peak periods, more than 5,800 applications were submitted from around the world in a single day.

Continuing the record-breaking trend, total monthly applications exceeded 100,000 in January, March, April and May.

Mr Coveney added: "I want to thank the staff of the Passport Service who have worked hard in recent years to ensure the Government provides a modern, secure and efficient passport service.

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

Minister of State for European Affairs Helen McEntee said the innovation shown by the passport service has made applying more convenient than ever, while enhancing the integrity and security of the Irish passport.

She added: "The Passport Service's award-winning Customer Service Hub, established in January this year, can handle 10,000 queries per week through their phone and web-chat system, ensuring the application process for citizens is as smooth as possible.

"The dynamism and creativity shown by the Passport Service means it is a real innovation leader in the public service in areas such as technology and customer experience.

"I look forward to seeing the continued development of this excellent service in 2020 for the benefit of Irish citizens here and abroad."