Cork Passport Office to hire more than 70 workers to deal with Brexit applications

Cork Passport Office to hire more than 70 workers to deal with Brexit applications
The Cork passport office on the South Mall will see 72 extra staff recruited in the coming weeks to handle the increase in applications from UK citizens. Picture Denis Minihane.

The Department for Foreign Affairs is to hire more than 70 new staff at the Passport Office on the South Mall to handle the significant increase in passport applications from the UK in advance of Brexit.

UK citizens with an Irish parent or grandparent are entitled to Irish citizenship and the number of applications since the Brexit vote in 2016 has doubled, as British people seek to maintain their EU citizenship.

The Department made the decision last year to centralise all Irish passport applications and renewals in the Dublin office in Balbriggan.

The Cork office was given responsibility for processing passport applications from Northern Ireland and Great Britain, as well as applications from Ireland’s network of Embassies and Consulates worldwide.

As a result of Brexit, the Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed the workload and staffing of the Cork office has increased.

"The number of applications from Northern Ireland and Great Britain has increased in the last few years," a spokesperson said.

The increase in demand is driven by a number of factors including a general increase in the number of Irish residents travelling abroad and a growing population as well as the decision by the UK to leave the EU.

According to the Evening Echo, an extra 72 staff will be recruited over the coming weeks and months to handle the workload.

Last week, the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney confirmed that 2018 was a record-breaking year with over 822,000 Irish passports issued.

Of these, 84,855 applications were from Northern Ireland and 98,544 applications were received from Great Britain. These figures represent an increase of 2% and 22%, respectively, over 2017 figures.

Mr Coveney said: “We’re anticipating a significant increase again in terms of the number of people in Britain applying for Irish passports. Clearly, if there was a no-deal Brexit, that may well be a significant figure.

“We have to anticipate and prepare for that, and we are."

This story originally appeared in the Evening Echo

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