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Irish Passport Office possibility for Derry

20 November, 2005

Sinn Féin Mid Ulster MP Martin McGuinness has said that he is confident that the campaign for an Irish passport office in the north will be successful in the very near future.

Mr. Mc Guinness said,

"Sinn Fein has argued consistently that the Irish government has a responsibility to defend the rights of Irish citizens in the north and to extend to them the fullest entitlements and benefits of Irish citizenship. In line with this, a scheme was put in place, a number of years ago, to allow Irish passports to be ordered through post offices in the north.

"The take up has been phenomenal, including among unionists, and, as a result, Sinn Fein proposed that an office for the processing of Irish passports be opened in the north. This would also bring much-needed jobs to an employment black spot such as Derry. We raised this issue again at our meeting with the Irish and British governments on Monday last.

"I believe that the Irish government now fully accepts the logic of our proposal and that we will shortly see the announcement of an Irish passport office, probably in Derry, employing a considerable number of people." ENDS

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