There has been a surge in applications for Irish passports following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.
The latest figures show that 733,000 passports were issued last year. This is an almost 10% rise on the previous year
Republic of Ireland Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said in a statement that Brexit was partly responsible for the rise, with a 41% increase in applications from Britain compared to 2015, and a 27% in applications from Northern Ireland.
Overall, the department issued 67,972 passports to people from Northern Ireland and 64,996 from Britain.
The Republic of Ireland will retain its status as a member of the EU when the UK leaves. Acquiring a passport from the Republic of Ireland would allow British citizens to retain their EU citizenship, leaving them free to travel and work on the continent after Brexit without visa restrictions.
In the days following the vote, Flanagan was forced to issue an appeal for calm as his department struggled to process the wave of enquiries, and post offices ran out of application forms.
Flanagan cited a number of other reasons for the rise in applications, including the fact that more Irish people travelled last year after both national Irish football teams reached the European Championships in France over June and July.
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