Identifiable need for Irish Passport Office in the North – Ó Donnghaile
Speaking in the Seanad today Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile reiterated his call that the Irish Government should open a Passport Office in the Six Counties.
Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile was commenting after it was revealed that the Passport Office have employed an additional 230 staff to deal with the increased demand for Irish Passports.
Niall Ó Donnghaile said:
“Last year passport applications from the North saw an increase of 26.5 per cent over 2015 to 67,972, while application levels from Britain increased by 40.6 per cent to 64,996.
“There can be no doubt that this demand will be sustained and likely increase due to the British Government’s reckless Brexit.
“This unprecedented demand has led to the Office employing an additional 230 staff to meet the need. There is an identifiable need for an Irish Passport Office in the North.
“These statistics indicate clearly that the Government can take not only an important symbolic, positive and unilateral initiative to locate an Office in the Six Counties but that such a move would make strategic and logistical sense, as well as creating further new jobs in the North.
“The huge increase in Irish and therefore European Passports indicates clearly that there should be Special Designated Status for the North within the EU and the Irish Government should stand with the rest of us in making that case.”