Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, has unveiled the design of the new Irish Passport Card, which will allow passport holders who hold the card to travel within the European Union and the European Economic Area. Irish Americans who have Irish passports will likely be eligible for them.

The card which will cost $40 (€35) will be available from mid-July.

Speaking at the launch of the card Flanagan said he card would be useful as an extra form of identification, alongside the Passport Booklet. He also pointed out that the card could be used for travel throughout Europe or as a backup travel document. Flanagan also launched an app which makes card simple to apply for.

Passport Office spokesperson Fiona Penollar told RTE News the new card will reduce the number of lost passports significantly.

She said, “This is a credit card-sized passport that can fit easily in your wallet. It's an additional extra to the actual passport book.

"It will suit an awful lot of people. It won't be carried in a back pocket - it will be in the pocket or the purse."

The passport card will be available from mid-July 2015 to all Irish citizens who are over 18 years and hold a valid Irish Passport. The card will have a maximum validity of 5 years (or the remaining validity of an individual’s passport book).

26/1/2015 The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan launching the Irish Passport Card, which will act as extra identification and act as a backup travel document for Irish citizens.Photocall Ireland