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Surge of Irish passport applications continues

Applications for Irish passports from Northern Ireland and Britain have risen by 68% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to last year.

Figures from the Republic’s Department of Foreign Affairs revealed that applications had risen by 26% overall. A record number of applications was received in 2016, according to the BBC. The applications from Britain and Northern Ireland have increased since the UK voted to leave the EU. An Irish passport would make it possible for its owner to move and work freely within other EU member states once the UK exits.

Last year, applications from Northern Ireland increased by 27% compared to 2015, while applications from Britain went up by 42%. This trend continued in the first few months of 2017. Between January and March, 27, 898 applications were received from Northern Ireland, while 23,181 from Britain. Around same time in 2016, 16,581 applications were received from Northern Ireland and 13,722 from Britain.

The increase in applications might be, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs, “attributable to a variety of causes including an expanding population and a significant increase in outbound travel in recent years”.

“The decision by the UK to leave the EU may also have had some impact, although the department does not ask people why they are applying for a passport, only whether they are eligible”.

Daisy Wilder