herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

'I fear I'll miss my honeymoon over passport backlog'

Frantic: Bride-to-be joins queue outside office

DISTRESSED members of the public queued from the early hours of the morning despite the rain in the hope of acquiring a passport.

Industrial action continues to cause huge backlogs of people awaiting a passport.

Rathfarnham girl Annie Logue (16) risks being left home alone for two weeks as her family of six jet off to Cyprus.

"It's planned for Sunday. I'm from a family of six and I'll be the only one left behind. My parents' passport was a 10-year one so it was a shock to them to find mine wasn't," she said.

Her decision to join the queue at 7am happened when her mother turned on the radio and heard about the backlog.

"My brother had to wait a very long time last week and they weren't too helpful.

"I'm kind of angry. It's horrible for people to get up this early and we don't know how long we will be waiting," she continued.

Bride-to-be Fiona Noble (28) travelled down from Belfast to get a passport in time for her honeymoon in two weeks.

"How do you get up to the top of the queue to tell people your story? I just hope I get to see somebody today," she said.

Ms Noble was clearly upset. "I just don't know what I'm going to do. I'll lose out on money and I had to take annual leave from work to come down. We even thought we would go to the Cork passport offices."

Anthony Byrne (38), born in Castleknock but now living in London, explained how he would lose out on money if he couldn't go to Amsterdam next week for work.



naivety

"I think it's madness, the naivety of things. We are in massive trouble. Action like this doesn't help. In this day and age, not being able to negotiate around a table is a bit ridiculous," he said. "Going on strike is from the 70s," the businessman said.

Paul Carey (29) from Glasnevin queued from 5am with his Hungarian girlfriend to try to get his passport. The couple had planned an Easter trip to Hungary. "When I heard there were to be potential strikes next week I got here to try to do anything I can," he said.

He spoke about the hardship the people were enduring. He said: "There are people with babies and elderly people queuing. I'm not sure this is the right way to go about it. I understand they're not happy but it's happening across the world. I had to take days off work to come here. It's frustrating."

Renata Beilliu (24) from Blanchardstown said she had been waiting six weeks for her passport. "I was here last Thursday as well. I'm hoping to get it today. I was meant to get it last Friday. I'm angry but not going to shout," she said.

Ms Beilliu is due to travel to Rome in the coming weeks. She said she doesn't blame the public servants.

"The Government should be doing something; it should be coming from the top. Adjustments need to be made. They should be prioritising those with immediate travel plans and be more sympathetic to the old people."

hnews@herald.ie

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