British demand for Irish passports soaring

Posted By: October 06, 2016

Gareth McKeown. Irish News (Belfast). Thursday, October 6, 2016

The number of Irish passport applications from Northern Ireland has increased by two-thirds since the UK voted to leave the European Union. Picture by Matt Bohill
THE number of Irish passport applications from people living in Britain has more than doubled in the past two months since the Brexit vote.

New figures from the department of foreign affairs in Dublin show numbers of applications in August and September rose by more than 100 percent on the previous year.

In September 2015 there were 3,431 Irish passport applications received from Britain compared to 7,518 from the same month this year – a rise of almost 120 percent.

Applications from Northern Ireland have increased by two-thirds since Britain voted to leave the European Union in June’s landmark vote.

In August there was an almost 80 percent increase in the number of applications from 2015, while last month there were 4,126 applications made, compared to 2,549 in September 2015, an increase of more than 60 percent.

Since the Brexit vote on June 23, there has been a steady rise in demand for Irish passports.

In the immediate aftermath post offices across the north reported a surge of interest, with some branches even running out of forms due to unprecedented demand.

The Irish News reported in July how the high level of demand had affected the operation of Northern Ireland’s General Register Office, which handles the documents for all births, deaths, and marriages.

Research work at the Belfast office was restricted in the weeks following the referendum as the need for birth certificates from people applying for Irish passports soared.

As part of the Good Friday Agreement, everyone in Northern Ireland is entitled to British and Irish citizenship.