Brexit triggers rush for Irish passports in Northern Ireland

Irish passport application forms in Northern Ireland have almost disappeared ahead of Brexit according to local post offices.

Read More: How to get an Irish passport

The Belfast Telegraph reports that Sinn Fein Senator Niall O Donnghaile said there was a "drought" in passport application forms across Northern Ireland.

“This increase is no doubt impacted upon by the ever-deepening Brexit crisis. More and more people are claiming their right to Irish and EU citizenship," he said.

Read More: Irish passport office swamped by Brexit as one million seek citizenship

“This reinforces the need for the Irish government to invest – opening a Passport Office in the six counties is the practical thing to do in order to meet growing demand and decrease the burden placed on staff.”

“It’s time for the government to properly invest in the needs of Irish citizens in the six counties by opening this much-needed service as soon as possible.”

This is not a surprise.
Many of us have been flagging this stuff 4 several years now. Clearly identifiable & growing demand should be met with investment. People pay for new/renewal passports - it’s time we had a service to meet our needs. #6CoPassports @sinnfeinireland @dfatirl

— Niall Ó Donnghaile ⭕️ (@NiallSF) January 29, 2019

Last year, O Donnghaile created an online petition seeking the creation of an Irish passport office in Northern Ireland as well.

Read More: This famous Irishman’s grandson has applied for an Irish passport in wake of Brexit

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said: "All Post Offices should be re-stocked by tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.”

"There has been a general increase in passport applications in recent years which is due to a number of factors, including a growing population and an increase in travel abroad."

Irene Edgar, branch manager at Belfast’s central Post Office which ran out of Irish passport forms on January 25, told BBC: "High demand, especially in the last few weeks, means there is a stock and delivery issue."

Read More: Are you eligible for an Irish passport before Brexit?

Kirsty Longridge, branch manager of the Bangor Post Office in Co Down, said demand has been “massive.”

"It is Brexit, people don't know what is happening and they want to be prepared.”

Read More: British citizens rush to claim Irish passports as Brexit nears

Christine McNulty, branch manager of the Strabane Post Office in Co Tyrone, said that despite ordering forms three weeks ago, her branch is out of applications as well and that demand has been “completely crazy.”

"People are afraid, that's why they want their Irish passports, fear around Brexit," McNulty said.

Do you live abroad and have an Irish passport? Let us know in the comments