John Brady TD questions Minister on passport backlog
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, has welcomed the reply from Minister Simon Coveney in response to his queries in relation to the Irish Passport Service.
Teachta Brady said:
“Speaking at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence, I availed of the opportunity of Minister Coveney’s appearance to put a number of questions to him in relation to the backlog of passport applications that have accumulated during Covid-19.
"In response the Minister was able to assure me that the Department of Foreign Affairs are currently working in shifts from early morning to late evening to in order to meet the challenge of the both the backlog of applications in the system, along with the anticipated surge in applications as citizens look to take the opportunity to travel abroad again as restrictions continue to be lifted.
"Last month alone there were over 80,000 passport applications received. Last week the passport division of the department of Foreign Affairs processed 20,689 applications.
"I have been informed that by the end of June, the department will have achieved its benchmark of dealing with applications within 10 working days.
"It is hugely important that the service is available to citizens.
"I acknowledge also, the unavoidable frustration felt by many individuals who have been attempting to contact a number of the foreign embassies in Ireland for travel visas, including some who are attempting to sort out educational and work visas abroad.
"I am confident that the various embassies will be making every effort to meet the needs of the many Irish citizens in their applications for visas.
"I also believe that the Irish government should be making every effort to ensure that the embassies receive every assistance from the government in order to ensure that their staff are able to return to work in order to provide this important service.”