The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore has launched the newly-designed Irish passport, which features images of iconic Irish landmarks including the Croagh Patrick, Kylemore Abbey and Croke Park, in addition to drawings depicting Irish music and dance and Gaelic games.
AT the launch Gilmore said “Irish passport holders travel more often and to more destinations than at any time in the past.
“In 2012, we issued over 600,000 passports to Irish citizens around the world. I would urge Irish citizens to check the validity of their current passport and to apply for a new book well in advance of any travel.”
The Irish passport office also issued a breakdown of “passport by numbers” for the occasion.
- More than 630,000 passports issued in 2012, of which about 350,000 issued to adults.
- 67% of all passport applications were received through the Passport Express channel.
- Over 40,000 applications were received through the Northern Ireland Passport Express channel.
- Almost 53,000 applications were received through the London Passport Office, the highest number outside the State.
- After London, the highest number was issued in Canberra – 5,600 passports, followed by 5,300 by the Consulate General in New York.
- July was the busiest month in 2012 with 78,000 passports issued, while December was the quietest with just over 20,000.
Unveiling the new design in Dublin, Gilmore said “We have combined the latest security technology with selected imagery in order to produce a passport which represents Ireland – our culture, our history, and our people.
“The images used range from a stunning perspective of the Cliffs of Moher to the new landscape along the river Liffey, with the Dublin Convention Centre to the foreground and the Custom House and Liberty Hall peering through the harp strings of the Samuel Beckett Bridge.
“Images of Croagh Patrick and the Rock of Cashel feature alongside drawings depicting Irish music and dance and Gaelic games. The passport features poems from three of this island’s finest poets: Nuala ní Dhomhnaill, William Butler Yeats, and James Orr.”
A combination of photographs and drawings, commissioned solely for use on the Irish passport, are reproduced with specialist printing techniques to ensure that the Irish passport is highly-secure.
The new passports also include verses in Ulster Scots as well as a map of the entire island for the first time.
Commenting on this Gilmore said “It's a topographical map... it is not intended to be a map of the administrative or political arrangements.”
He dismissed any suggestion of territorial connotations saying “The design of passports is not something that we discuss bilaterally or negotiate with another state.”
There are also extracts from the Irish constitution stating the birthright of anyone born north or south of the border to be part of the Irish nation.
The book was designed and produced in Ireland, by a consortium led by DLRS of Bray, HID Ireland of Baile na hAbhainn, and the Central Bank on foot of a competitive tender process.
All Irish passports issued from 3rd October will have this new design.
Here’s a video on the launch issued by the government: