Irish passport office for Derry?

Looks like there may be a passport office opening for Irish citizens in Derry. Gregory Campbell’s campaign to allow those born in the Republic to have reciprocal access to British nationality continues at the House of Commons.

  • Pete Baker

    I’m fairly sure Dermot Ahern has dismissed that story, in reality just a SF press release, of a passport office in Derry, Mick.. saying the government had no plans to expand the existing service – of application forms being available in post offices.

  • Surely this is tantamount to Sinn Fein endorsing partition – why does “the North” need its own passport office? Are they suggesting that the ‘6 counties’ are somehow different from the rest of the island and deserve separate consideration?

  • Nathan

    Any measure designed to reduce the bureaucracy, and make it more convenient for Irish people (whatever their religious background) to get easy-access to an Irish passport, is a good move. I’d hate to see to being hijacked into a political issue. Thats why I’d like to know whether the mooted Derry passport office is to be part of a consulate? The last thing that the Irish government needs is to be accused of not following proper diplomatic protocol between co-operating jurisdictions.

    With respect to Gregory Campbell, I’m pleased to see that he’s pestering the British government, regarding those people born in the Republic who want automatic entitlement to a British passport. I’ve lost count the amount of times people have insinuated that such gifts are within the remit of the Irish government, when the opposite is in fact the case. Anyhow, I’m presuming that Campbell’s case for passport reform is based solely upon the fact that there is demand for people currently residing in NI (but who were born in the Irish Republic) to have automatic entitlement. Judging by the content of the DUP press statement, Campbell hasn’t embarked down the cul-de-sac of thought which tends to suggest that there is an appetite for West Britishness amongst Protestants (and Catholics) in the south. That can only be good news – the vast majority of people living in the south are content with having a specific Irish nationality and he implicitly respects that fact.

  • The Irish foriegn office said at the beginning of the month there are no plans to open a passport office in the North.
    I think Barry McElduff had been pushing for an office to open in Belfast.
    Last year about 40 post offices agreed to open a passport express service that allows people living in the North to apply for a fast-tracked Irish passport.

  • Ringo

    Beano –
    Surely this is tantamount to Sinn Fein endorsing partition – why does “the North” need its own passport office?

    I’d presume that they would point to Cork and say that it is justified based on geography alone. But of course that isn’t the reason.

  • Keith M

    Old news and not going to happen according according to our DEpt. of Foreign Affairs. How long does a carrier pidgeon to get to the Maiden city?

  • Brian Boru

    I reject this DUP campaign. The people of the South are Irish, while under the GFA, people born in the North are Irish or British or both. Not comparing like with like.

  • pakman

    This non story has provoked two thoughts –

    a) let’s have a grown up relationship between the two states on this island and have a passport issuing Irish consulate in Belfast and
    b) blow up the Foyle bridge and move the border to half way across the Craigavon bridge.

    Oh and by the way Mr Boru it wasn’t only Irish communities that found themselves the wrong side of the 1921 line. Allow yourself for a minute to suppose that there are descendants of those people living within the Irish state who feel at least as much British as Irish.

  • Silly pakman – didn’t you realise respect and tolerance only work one way?

  • idunnomeself

    I’ve met people brought up in the South who feel British rather than Irish.

    Of course I have also met far more descendants of Southern Unionists who are content with their Irish identity alone.

    If you insist that the former don’t exist then you are just silencing this minority to suit your own prejudice

    (maybe the prejudice that Unionists are motivated to cling to Britian by Sectarian fear than by genuine affection to the UK? but I wouldn’t want to put words into anyone’s mouth!)

  • Brian Boru

    “Oh and by the way Mr Boru it wasn’t only Irish communities that found themselves the wrong side of the 1921 line. Allow yourself for a minute to suppose that there are descendants of those people living within the Irish state who feel at least as much British as Irish.”

    Well pakman your crowd insisted on having it that way by refusing to compromise on the border.

  • BB at the risk of reopening a debate that has been done to death already, there was no way to guarantee that everyone ended up on the side of the border they wanted to be on, (for example the unionists in Donegall AND the nationalists in Londonderry/Tyrone).

    But good work on keeping up the “it’s all themuns’s fault”. You’d make a great NI politician with statements like that.

  • Brian Boru

    “BB at the risk of reopening a debate that has been done to death already, there was no way to guarantee that everyone ended up on the side of the border they wanted to be on, (for example the unionists in Donegall AND the nationalists in Londonderry/Tyrone).

    But good work on keeping up the “it’s all themuns’s fault”. You’d make a great NI politician with statements like that.”

    Everyone, no. But there was a way of ensuring every Unionist country went to NI and every Nationalist county to the South. The Unionists should have accepted this and the consequential 4 county NI, if the real agenda was not domination but rather giving the Unionist counties the right to opt out of Home Rule/Independence.

  • I don’t know how accurate or not the statement is but my understanding was that those drawing up the border wanted NI to be large enough to survive. They couldn’t win re: the number of Catholics.

    Republicans oft spout that the state was designed to have an inbuilt unionist majority, while at the same time others, such as yourself, advocate increasing that majority to a state of practical perpetuity.

    Not to mention that looking at South Armagh, you’d wonder if it was wise to base the border on county boundaries at all.

  • Brian Boru

    “I don’t know how accurate or not the statement is but my understanding was that those drawing up the border wanted NI to be large enough to survive. They couldn’t win re: the number of Catholics.”

    Beano, no-one is arguing that Gibraltar is too small to survive so that argument is bogus for me.

    “Republicans oft spout that the state was designed to have an inbuilt unionist majority, while at the same time others, such as yourself, advocate increasing that majority to a state of practical perpetuity.”

    I am not advocating it at the moment. I am retrospectively speculating that it would have been a fairer partition. It could have spared NI decades of violence and sectarian division.

    “Not to mention that looking at South Armagh, you’d wonder if it was wise to base the border on county boundaries at all.”

    The Unionist politicians at the time said give us all the 6 counties not an inch etc. Glad to see your implicit criticism of that stance. If only more had felt that way in your community back then, instead of the broken-record “No” routine.

  • Marty J

    “Beano, no-one is arguing that Gibraltar is too small to survive so that argument is bogus for me.”

    lol….and what exactly could anyone do about if it was? Gibraltar has to import an awful lot of its food; no one in their right minds is going to consciously engineer a state that cannot supply a large proportion of its food simply because Gibraltar can get away with it. That makes absolutely no sense. Now you’re not comparing like with like.

    Surely you can see the different uses for the land in the West as opposed to in the East of the Province? Or do you think that’s just coincidence?

  • Reader

    Brian Boru: I am not advocating it at the moment. I am retrospectively speculating that it would have been a fairer partition. It could have spared NI decades of violence and sectarian division.
    But the Dail rejected the Boundary condition report anyway. They could have had Crossmaglen at least.

  • Brian Boru

    “But the Dail rejected the Boundary condition report anyway. They could have had Crossmaglen at least.”

    Yes but the loss of a large, and rich, part of East Donegal would have accompanied this. We were getting a few small bogs in Fermanagh and Armagh, when the main nationalist population centres of Tyrone and the overall Co.Fermanagh were being denied to us. In negotiations Lloyd George had told the Nationalist side that Tyrone and Fermanagh would go to the South in the Boundary Commission report, but we were deceived.

  • Alan2

    I think that the right to a British passport should be expanded to the whole island in parity of esteem with Irish passports. Indeed if there were ever a United Ireland it would presumably have to be implemented anyway.

  • George

    Pakman,
    “Allow yourself for a minute to suppose that there are descendants of those people living within the Irish state who feel at least as much British as Irish.”

    This has nothing to do with people in the Irish Republic being able to claim a British passport, it is about people born in the Irish Republic but now living in Northern Ireland.

    Gregory Campbell brought up a postcard campaign a few months back asking all those southerners living up north affected to fill it out and send it back for the campaign.

    I said at the time that considering less than 2% of the population of NI were born in the Republic (and many of them are in nationalist areas) it was highly unlikely that there is a market for this.

    Mick,
    I told you at the time of Gregory’s plan that this would be the last we would hear of the postcards. He probably got one back from the one southerner who suggested the idea.

    They didn’t get a mention in his latest press release. Neatly forgotten about. Maybe someone could ask him how many people want this service?

    This really is getting ridiculous. Does Campbell have nothing more important to bring up than at most a handful of people not wanting to naturalise themselves?

    How about seatbelts for children on school buses for example?