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Ó Caoláin advises holiday travellers to get passports in order now

19 March, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil Leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has advised those who are planning to travel abroad on summer holidays to ensure now that their passports are in order. This warning comes at a time of growing industrial action in the public service, including the Passport Office.

The Cavan-Monaghan Deputy said, “Because of the work-to-rule in the public service, passports are taking longer than usual to be processed and consequently a significant backlog is developing. The Fianna Fáil-Green Party Government’s intransigence in refusing to reverse the cuts to low-paid public sector wages means that the industrial action is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

“I have already been contacted by constituents who have had to cancel travel plans because their passports were not ready in time. However, staff in the Passport Office are currently refusing to deal with elected representatives, regardless of their politics and where they stand on the issues involved. With the summer holidays approaching there are likely to be many more people affected.

“The ten-day turnaround offered under the Passport Express service is no longer guaranteed. Therefore, anyone planning to travel abroad this summer should check now to make sure their passports are in order. If a passport needs renewing this should be done at the earliest opportunity possible.”

Deputy Ó Caoláin concluded by reminding travellers that some countries require passports to be valid for at least six months after the intended date of departure and that this should be taken into account when considering whether a passport needs to be renewed. ENDS

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