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Thursday 23 January 2020

Online system sees 900,000 passports issued in bumper year

Irish passports are popular
Irish passports are popular

A new record of more than 900,000 Irish passports were issued in 2019, new figures reveal.

The number rose by 7pc compared to figures for 2018.

During peak periods, more than 5,800 applications were submitted from around the world in a single day.

Continuing the record-breaking trend, total monthly applications exceeded 100,000 in January, March, April and May.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said: "2019 was another bumper year for the passport service. The award-winning Passport Online expanded in 2019 to include first-time applicants in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain and Europe. Irish citizens, including children, can also renew their passports online 24/7 from anywhere in the world."

The oldest online applicant was 101 and the youngest only five days old.

The most popular baby girls names were Grace, Emily and Anna, while Jack, James and Noah topped the baby boys' list. The most popular surname worldwide among those applying was Murphy.

Cost

The revamped service has brought in faster turnaround times of five working days for simple renewals, 10 working days for complex renewals and 20 working days for first-time applicants, excluding postage delivery time.

In addition, the cost of renewing a passport online is cheaper than alternative methods, with adults costing €75 and children €20.

Applying online no longer requires a person to have their photos witnessed by a garda for adult renewals. This means both the Passport Service and gardai can reallocate resources to other areas.

As in previous years, there were a significant number of applicants from Northern Ireland and Great Britain. More than 94,000 first-time applications were received from people born in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

For those who applied through embassies and consulates abroad, the cities which received the most applications were New York, Pretoria, Canberra, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi, Ottawa, Sydney, Paris, Chicago and Berlin.

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