Ireland's government has announced a one-week extension to a survey allowing the public to share their opinions on how the new Irish passport will look.
Ireland's Tánaiste (Deputy Leader) and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Micheál Martin. launched a public survey last month seeking input into the design of the new Irish passport book and card.
Following unprecedented demand from the public, Martin has now announced a one-week extension to the survey, which will run until July 19.
"To date, more than 12,000 citizens across the island of Ireland and overseas have shared their views on the passport design survey," Martin said in a statement.
"In light of this encouraging engagement, I am delighted to announce a one-week extension to the survey until Wednesday, 19 July. The survey is a unique opportunity for people to give their views and share the aspects of Ireland’s diverse natural environment they would like to see feature as part of our new passport book and card design. You can complete the survey on gov.ie and DFA.ie. It is available in both Irish and English and takes approximately 5 minutes to complete."
A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told IrishCentral that the Government is keen to hear the opinions of Irish citizens living overseas.
Meanwhile, Martin said the Irish passport will retain its burgundy cover when the redesign is completed.
"I would also like to reassure Irish passport holders that, in spite of some recent reporting to the contrary, the upcoming redesign relates to the pages inside the passport. The burgundy cover with our beautiful national harp emblem will remain unchanged," Martin said.
Announcing the launch of the survey last month, Martin said he was “delighted to launch the passport design survey". adding that it will "invite the public to participate in the process of designing our next-generation passport".
"The Irish passport is a vital document of the Irish State and it currently ranks fifth in the Henley Global Passport Index. This high ranking provides citizens with visa-free access to 189 countries. High-quality design is central to maintaining the integrity and reputation of the Irish passport," Martin said at the time of the launch.
Launching the survey, he said "I invite everyone to share their views in this short survey. The survey provides people with an opportunity to select aspects of Ireland’s diverse natural environment that they would like to see in the new passport book and card design.”
The current Irish passport book and card were last redesigned ten years ago. The design will both aim to improve the security of the Irish passport and "communicate Irish culture and values", the Irish Examiner reports.
Currently, the Department of Foreign Affairs is considering themes anchored around Ireland's natural environment however the public is being asked for their input on which Irish flora and fauna (plants and animals) should be included on the pages of the Irish passport.
Speaking to Newstalk last month, Dublin Theatre Festival Artistic Director Willie White said the new Irish passport should be something beautiful holders have to remind them of home while they're traveling.
He told the radio station "Who is the passport for? It’s not for the person you hand it over to for a few seconds when you’re going through passport control, it is for you.
“So, what’s the image of Ireland you want to carry around in your hand?
“When you open a page of your passport book does this say to you, this is a beautiful piece of graphic design or does it say to you, this is an accomplished piece of security?”
He added that the idea of highlighting Ireland's flora and fauna was important due to the ongoing biodiversity crisis and "everything that is going on with the planet”.
“We have beautiful orchids in the Burren,” he said. “Foxes, we see them all over the city, there’s the hares up in Dublin Airport.
“I think it would be great to have something a bit more natural to remind us [of home].”
Tánaiste Martin added “With over600,000 passports issued so far this year, 2023 continues to be a busy year for the Passport Service. I would remind citizens who are planning to travel to check their passport is in date, and if they need to apply for a new passport, to use Passport Online. Over 90 percent of citizens now use Passport Online as it is the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to apply for your passport.”
The department intends to launch a procurement process for the next passport manufacturer in late 2023 and it is hoped that the next generation of Irish passports will launch before the end of 2025.
* Are you interested in the Irish passport? Find out to apply for your Irish passport here.