Brexit: More than a fifth of Irish passports claimed by UK residents

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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More than a fifth of all Irish passports issued in the last year went to people living in the UK in a surge directly linked to Brexit.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said more than 779,000 of the Republic’s identity papers were issued in 2017 – another record figure.

Some 81,752 Irish citizens in Northern Ireland sought the burgundy-coloured passport, an increase of almost 20 per cent on the previous year.

The demand in Britain for the documents soared by more than 28 per cent to 81,287.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it received 785,026 passport applications this year, but only issued 779,184.

Simon Coveney, Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister, said: “This is the highest number of Irish passports ever issued in one year. It represents an increase of over 6 per cent compared to 2016 and an increase of over 15 per cent since 2015. The number of applicants from Northern Ireland and Great Britain has continued to rise.”

People born in Northern Ireland have an automatic right to Irish citizenship. Britons with an Irish parent, or in certain circumstances an Irish grandparent, also have an automatic right to become Irish citizens.