Irish passport applications surged in 2016

Ireland issued a record 733,060 passports in 2016, a 9 percent increase over the previous year.

The growth was fueled in part by a 40.6 percent jump in passport applications from Great Britain, to 64,996, and 26.5 percent bump from Northern Ireland, to 67,972.

These increases are largely attributed to “Brexit,” the June 2016 vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. (A majority of voters in Northern Ireland wanted to remain in the EU.) There are other reasons behind the overall surge in passport applications, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, said in 5 January release.

“There was a strong increase in demand for passports in the first half of the year,” he said. “This was due to a variety of factors including the fact that more Irish people traveled in the first half of the year; we also had the Euros Championships and a historical spike in applications from 2006 feeding through in the 10-year renewal cycle.”

An Irish passport confers the holder with travel and work privileges within the 27-nation EU, which the UK is now figuring out how to leave. People born in any of Ireland’s 32 counties, north or south, or those with a parent or grandparent born on the island, are eligible to apply for a passport from the Republic.

The Irish Consulate in New York had the highest single demand for passports, issuing 7,205 in 2016.  It was closely followed by Canberra, Australia, San Francisco and Sydney.

“I expect this trend to continue in the coming years,” Flanagan said.