London's Irish Embassy is "stretched and working under pressure" ahead of Brexit
A Sinn Fein politician has called upon the Irish government to help relieve the pressure that’s been put on Irish passport offices in the wake of Brexit.
Derry Daily reports that Sharon Duddy, a councilor for Sinn Fein in Derry, said Irish passports offices are experiencing “significant pressure” during a surge of applications from both Northern Ireland and Britain in the wake of Brexit.
Duddy said: “Over 84,000 people from the north and in Britain applied for an Irish passport in 2018, the Irish government predicts that over 800,000 people could apply in the next five years.”
“As a result, passport office and Embassy staff, who do a fantastic job, are under significant pressure and major stress.”
“This was confirmed in a warning from the Embassy and further exposes the gap in services through failure to open a passport office in the six counties.”
“An Taoiseach [Ireland's Prime Minister] has said the people of the North will never be left behind again – then now is the time to invest and provide the infrastructure required to meet growing demand.”
There is currently no Irish passport office in Northern Ireland.
“The Irish government have an obligation to take a stand in defense of rights, citizenship, it’s obligations to Irish citizens in the North, and the diaspora.”
The Northern Irish politician made her comments after the Irish Embassy in London confirmed its staff is “stretched and working under pressure” due to passport demand.
With Brexit just over a month away and no deal currently in place, many people from outside of Ireland are hoping to claim an Irish passport in hopes of retaining EU travel rights.
According to the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, in order for a British person to apply for an Irish passport, they must meet certain requirements:
- If you were born in the Republic of Ireland or Nothern Ireland before January 1, 2005, you are entitled to an Irish passport
- If you were born in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland after January 1, 2005, you are entitled to an Irish passport depending on your parents’ citizenship at the time of your birth and the residency history of at least one of your parents before your birth
- If you were born outside of Ireland to parents or grandparents who were born in Ireland, you are entitled to an Irish passport
- If one of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth but was not born in Ireland, you may be qualified
- If one of your parents obtained Irish citizenship through Naturalisation or Foreign Birth Registration before you were born, you may qualify
Have you tried to apply for an Irish passport in the wake of Brexit? Let us know in the comments