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Cowen Indicates Passport Facility For Omagh

18 September, 2003


West Tyrone Sinn Féin Representative Barry McElduff has welcomed indications from the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen that the pilot programme enabling people to apply for Irish passports through six county post offices will be extended to Omagh.

Cllr. McElduff said:

"I have been in communication with the Irish government for some time regarding an extension of the pilot scheme launched last year which enables people to apply for Irish passports from five designated post offices.

"The figures released by the Minister indicate that this pilot scheme has been an unrivalled success and show that 23,000 Irish passports were issued in 2002 to Irish citizens in the six counties.

"The Minister has now indicated to me that he envisages an extension of the programme and that Omagh will be in the next wave of post offices eligible to deal with Irish passport applications. Over the past number of months my own office has issued almost 500 passport application forms in the Omagh area clearly demonstrating a high level of demand.

"However the issue of passport rights for Irish citizens living in the six counties is not a matter of commercial viability, it is a matter of right and I would hope that is the direction the Irish government will go in the time ahead." ENDS

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