Hundreds switching from Irish to British passports

Now would not be a good time to apply for an Irish passport. There 50,000 people waiting for their passports to be processed, as the CPSU strike goes into its fourth day. As a direct result it seems hundreds of Irish people are discovering their eligibility for a UK passport in order to ‘jump’ a lengthening queue that shows no sign of abating…

, , ,

  • Dan Sullivan

    Again it would seem that it is younger people that are going to lose out. There are many thousands who can’t wait to leave the country but they’re being made to queue to do it.

    “An Irish citizen is entitled to a British passport if they were born in the UK but British nationality is also transmitted to the first generation born here.

    Persons born in the Republic before January 1, 1949, with a parent born in Ireland before 31 March 31, 1922, are also eligible to hold a special British passport.”

    As the child of people who had to emigrate once already I’m entitled to a British one as I born over the water but I was lucky enough to renew mine last year.

  • Neil

    It’s a reversal from the norm, as Jackie McDonald would tell you. Normally if you have problems getting a brit passport, the best option’s to head south as their standard delivery time is 10 days. Situation’s temporarily reversed now.

  • Driftwood

    Always handy to have both.

  • Greenflag


    ‘Always handy to have both.’

    Indeed especially come renewal time when a situation arises like the present backlog at the Dublin passport office . Full marks to those people who sat in last week and would’nt leave until they got their passports.

  • What are you saying here, people cannot wait five minutes to get their passport, or it is those dastardly unions are up to no good. and are determined to reck peoples travel plans?

    Or is it your all brits really anyway, 800 years of struggle was just one big mistake which can be put right by rejoining the mother country?

    Irish passports are things of value as they get you into any nation in the world, without a nasty smirk or a look of pure hate. If you doubt this I suggest you go to any middle east nation and on being asked where you come from, say England or the UK and you will find what I am saying is true. Say your Irish and more likely than not you will get a smile and the name Gerry Adams will be mentioned.

    After years of just managing to see off the legacy of imperialism, let alone football hooliganism, Blair with his criminal endeavours managed to rake is all up again and now the English/UK are in my judgement the second most hated peoples in the world after the USA.

    People will forgive and forget much, look at Germany, just as long as they do not start looting other peoples countries again.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Above all people, I never thought you’d hold a foreign passport, Driftwood.

  • Oh, I should have mentioned Israel, as I wrote of the middle east, not only do you get the third degree when you enter Israel, they clone your passport details and get you tagged as a terrorist for the rest of your life. With all the disruption to your travel plans this may entail 😉

  • wee buns

    No problem with getting an Irish one in Shop STreet yesterday…

  • Mick Fealty

    Don’t forget the fake marriage arrangements too, if we are going down that route:

  • Drumlins Rock

    Mickhall, its useful to have two, the British one for Israel, the Irish one for the rest of the middle east, and check out each country your going to case by case, went travelling for a year with a mate and we thought it would be best to have both, which was a good job as he put his British one through the washing machine the bay before we left, doh!

  • Tochais Síoraí

    Never had any problem with the Irish one in Israel. As for the rest of the middle east, let’s not get too carried away, it was often a scratch of the head occasionally followed by…’you are from Iceland?’

  • Drumlins Rock

    Tochais, my problem is I now have an Israel stamp on my British one! Used to be the same problem with Greece/Turkey/Cyprus I think. In some countries the commonwealth still helps a bit, although in Uganda for example Brits pay for a visa but Irish dont, sometimes its vice versa I think, the other problem is if Uk immigration makes like difficult for certain nationalities those countries can retaliate, think Nigeria can be like that.

  • socaire

    Some people would break their asses to get a nazi passport … if it was cheaper or handier.

  • Drumlins Rock

    bet you if you had a Nazi passport you would get a fortune for it on ebay lol.

  • Greenflag

    At the Zambian frontier post the official said I did’nt need a visitors visa as Ireland was a Commonwealth country . So I saved the ten dollars 😉

    The fact that the list of countries which were waived the visitor’s visa fee, did not include the Irish Republic seemed to matter little to the official . The business card he proferred along with a recommendation and discount coupon for his sister’s restaurant in the next town I accepted 😉

  • Drumlins Rock

    Greenflag, would you or any others know are you allowed to carry both passports with you at one time?

  • Harry Flashman

    One of the longest running myths in my life-time has been the fallacy that traveling with an Irish passport ensures one is treated with broad grins whilst production of a British passport is greeted with surly looks and bad service.

    I have both passports, I use the two of them interchangeably as and when one is handy, I have never, repeat never, had the slightest difference in reception from anyone based upon the design on the front cover of otherwise almost identical EU travel documents.

    Few people outside that little self obsessed archipelago have the slightest idea about the difference between the two nations nor do they give a fiddler’s fuck about their respective passports.

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    Mickhall: ‘Say your Irish and more likely than not you will get a smile and the name Gerry Adams will be mentioned.’

    In which context Mick?
    That friendly looking Irish guy with the beard?

    The ex Provo commander so proud of his heritage he won’t admit to being a member?

    Or the guy who’s party has yet to break through the 10% barrier in the Irish republic?

    Please don’t tell me it’s due to his lame attempts at equating Palestine with NI.

    Either way it’s kind of depressing that any Irish citizen should be welcomed to another country via association with GA.

  • Greenflag

    Drumlins Rock,

    I honestly don’t know but I’d like to . Presumably entry countries might have different ‘regulations not to mention the passport holders ‘two or more ‘countries . I would think it makes sense if you travel into a country on one or other of the passports you should leave using the same . Otherwise they may have no record of your ‘exit’ other than under a different passport and if you are on a time limited visa the next time you travel you may be ‘called ‘in for questioning’.

  • Rory Carr

    “Either way it’s kind of depressing that any Irish citizen should be welcomed to another country via association with GA.”

    That’s a wee bit short-sighted of you, Gerry. It may be depressing for some people, including your good self obviously, but I bet that Sinn Féin supporters find it very cheering indeed.

    I also suspect that they might find the fact that you find it depressing even more cheering.

    There’s simply no accounting for folks, is there now?

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    I’m sure they do Rory, just as I’m sure DUP supporters are no doubt delighted to hear Ian Paisley mentioned abroad, but the fact remains that outside NI, SF & the DUP count for virtually zip politically and the majority (presumably 90%) of ROI citizens and 75% of NI citizens wouldn’t be quite so happy with the assocation.

    I just wonder which of Gerry’s ‘achievements’ has turned him into a supposed Middle East celebrity?

  • Gerry,

    It is not only in the middle east I have witnessed it, its two fold I think, Adams is the only Irish politician they have consistently seen on their TV and have done for decades. I doubt most would even know the name of any other Irish political leader, certainly not the current one whose name I have forgotten as I type 😉

    They mention Adams in the same way as many US people did Margaret Thatcher when talking to English people, and for the same aforementioned reasons. For a time people in spain would shout Bobby Charlton at English people, in some place it is Tescos or some such, it is just banter.

    Of course there are others who see Adams as IRA and they like anyone who sticks it up the Brits and who can blame them.

    I think it is natural Ireland is seen in a good light by other nationalities, they have never occupied anyone, like a song and dance and the worst thing they have done is win the Eurovision song contest and no one wishes to win that as it means hosting it the following year.

    It’s a funny old world, thankfully.

  • RepublicanStones

    Tochais, my problem is I now have an Israel stamp on my British one!

    I have an Israel stamp on my Irish passport. Is it true you can get a re-issue if you inform them you’d prefer not to travel with an Israeli stamp on your passport? Or is that just a ballhop?

  • Gerry Lvs castro

    I’m finding myself in agreement with both Mickhall and Harry Flashman on the ‘recognition of the Irish’ issue.

    I’ve travelled widely (though not admittedly to the Middle East) and whilst my UK passport has never elicited any reaction whatsoever, most ‘foreigners’ I’ve encountered do have a fixed, if often daft notion of Ireland.

    From the New York woman genuinely astounded to hear that the Irish had electricity and houses without thatch to the Spanish restaurant manager convinced that Britain had invaded Ireland during WW2 and refused to leave six counties of it for strategic reasons, there is an obvious lack of basic knowledge. And who could be surprised given that many (most?) in Britain have little knowledge or interest either. My personal favourite was the Dubliner who had apparently failed to notice that the border still existed post GFA.

    Ask most Irish people to explain the current status of Cyprus, the former Yugoslavia or even the Channel Islands and you’re likely to end up with similar muddles.

    Mick you do have a point here: ‘I think it is natural Ireland is seen in a good light by other nationalities, they have never occupied anyone, like a song and dance and the worst thing they have done is win the Eurovision song contest’ — likewise leprachauns, Guinness and Father Ted tend to shape many people’s thinking, just as many of us regard Germans as rude and aggressive, and Americans as loud and arrogant.

    But like Harry Flashman said ‘Few people outside that little self obsessed archipelago have the slightest idea about the difference between the two nations nor do they give a fiddler’s fuck about their respective passports.’

  • RepublicanStones

    Where ya been anyways Harry?

  • Michaelhenry

    good to see articles 2 and 3 still doing there job,all irish people can get an irish passport.

  • eranu

    i dont know about all of the middle east, but in the UAE british citizens are sought after for jobs more than other EU nationalities. Americans are also at the top of the list.
    Its also funny to observe how people from the ‘Free State’ are included in the grouping called ‘british’or ‘uk’. im sure a few people on this site would have a Connery at the thought of that ! 🙂

  • Western Approaches

    I currently carry neither a British or Irish passport.

    I’m entitled to have both British and Irish passports, but I’d hate to style myself as a ‘subject’. I’m most definitely a citizen – whether British or Irish or Other.

    I understand the current British passports proclim the bearer to be a ‘British citizen’, but this has no legal standing to the best of my knowledge (although I’m open to correction). It is my understanding that anyone born in Britain or Ireland before 1981 may qualify as a British subject.

    This is admitedly completely anal definitionism, but it’s important to me.
    I wonder how British republicans cope?

  • Mack


    the CPSU strike goes into its fourth day

    There is no strike. People are queuing outside the Dublin passport office for the fourth day.

    There has been a work to rule since the start of January, and the office has been closed on Friday afternoons. Oddly, despite the claim the workers are doing they’re jobs they backlog is continuing to grow apace and is at this point massive.

    The unions are commiting Hari Kari. Everyone I’ve spoken to about this so far is livid. The government could sack them all tomorrow and they’d have the public behind them. I was queuing in the Spar beside my house the other day – the little old granny and the young guy behind the counter giving out hell, feck knows how they got onto the topic – but they weren’t holding back.

    I’ve some sympathy for the CPSU – their workers have had their net pay docked significantly over the last two years (swinging tax rises, pension level, tax cuts), but they’ve also had two sets of increments that undid some of that damage – and they’ll get another next year. While it is demoralising it is neccessary. It’s probably a good tactic for the Unions to bear some teeth so as to ensure that they are not force to endure the bulk of the adjustment. But these kind of actions, attempt to achieve the impossible, are suicidal. Like I said – this work could be outsourced in the morning to the private sector where workers earn less and the public would be fully behind the government. But, given a propoganda gift of this magnitude they’d be mad to that, instead they should (and I would guess will) keep this fire burning so as to completely and utterly undermine the unions and their position…

  • Mack

    Apologies for spelling and grammar errors in the above.

    I missed out a crucial phrase at one point –

    and the office has been closed to the public on Friday afternoons.

    They are of course still meant to be working. If they were, there’d be no reason for the backlog to occur…

  • Paddy

    “Few people outside that little self obsessed archipelago have the slightest idea about the difference between the two nations nor do they give a fiddler’s fuck about their respective passports.”

    I have travelled extensively. Every country in Asia, the Americas etc. In my travels, the most famous Irish are Robbie Keane, Roy Keane, the Corrs and people like that. Gerry Adams is a parochial etc etc.
    In SE Asia, Pinays know of Ireland now because of the nursing/skivvy jobs they do for Irish slobs. Thai hookers are getting in on mariage/fiance visas and they are now promoted. Thus the increase of Thai women advertising personal services. In Thailand, the Irish have a name as nut cases: going with ladyboys, stuff like that.
    Eircom jerseys are on sale and i saw a hooker with a Dubs jersey so go figure.
    British terrorist outfits like the BBC have used Irish passport holders for infiltration purposes in Saudi, Iraq etc. One Irish passport holder, who escaped from his Iraqi captors was asked what the Irish passport meant ot his captors said sweet fa.
    An Everton fan, Liverpool guy whose ma came from South Dublin, was beheaded even though Bertie gave hkm an 11th hour passport to try to save his life.
    In Australia, the Iirsh and Brits are the two nations who do not take out citizenship. The Irish as they do not want to swear allegience to a German hooker and the Poms as they do not want to dilute their right to have gunboats or he Sun sent in to free them.

    Another thing is the Israeli terrorist government have used Irish passports on countless occasions to commit acts of terrorism. When Ross Perot sent American terrorists into Iran to free American terrorists bering held captive, they too used Irish passports.

    The Irish were silly handing out paspsorts to opportunistic immigrants and other ne’er do wells. Icame across a Ynak married to a Filipina. Both had Irish passports as his grand da was Irish.
    The South African whites, after hteir Valhalla collapsed, tried to get irish (or other)passports if they could.

    All the new Irish should be made serve in the Army before they get the right to have a passport (unless they are good Gaelic players. The old Irish, meanwhile, should cop themselves on. No one gives a fuck about the unless they are Enya, Bono or me.

    Finally, someone should have mentioned the propensity of the BBC terrorist service to extend Irish citizenship to Irish athletes when they win Olympic medals, most especially Ronnie Delaney’s case.
    A Muslim asked me was Paddy Barnes, the Belfast boxer British. I said a North Belfast boxer with that name is Irish if he decides to be. i would certainly not argue the toss with him.

  • Mack

    Another way of looking at it. They are fighting the war of the flea, but, bizarrely, have decided they are the cat!

  • Alias

    “Say your Irish and more likely than not you will get a smile and the name Gerry Adams will be mentioned.” – Mickhall

    Have you been reading Ireland’s Own? Say you’re Irish, and 90% of the world’s population will give you no reaction (theie way of politely telling you that they’ve never heard of the place). The only ones who will even mention of Gerry Adams are Little Englanders, and that’s just their way of reassuring you that they’re also tolerant towards blacks.

    P.S. Welcome back, Harry Flashman.

  • Harry Flashman


    “Where ya been anyways Harry?”

    Around the world you mean? Probably quicker to list where I haven’t been.

    If you mean my absence from this forum well I’m glad to say I’ve been really busy at work and haven’t much time to peruse SO’T and when I did it seemed to be a bit like Groundhog Day with all the same old, same old. Plus I was getting pissed off with the racist comments directed towards me and mine.

    Alias, thank you.

  • Drumlins Rock

    was in china a few yrs ago, our guide was a Chinese girl, married to Zambian born white guy who was brought up in Zimbabwe, his father was English so he had a British passport, they were about to fly to the UK for the first time in thier lives so that the child would be born there and have British Citzenship (which was necessary for very good reasons) then realised his mother was born in Ireland which entitled her grand child to hold an Irish passport, lucky for them.

  • Nathan

    If you were born in the Republic before 1949 you can register as a British subject at any time, I’d imagine the take-up rate is very low, Irish citizenship is sufficient

  • CatinHat

    @Western Approaches

    British Citizen and British Subject are both legally meaningful and are not interchangeable. Technically, through some convoluted happenstance, you can be one without being the other.

    You are correct that a British passport “styles” you as a British Citizen.

  • But like Harry Flashman said ‘Few people outside that little self obsessed archipelago have the slightest idea about the difference between the two nations nor do they give a fiddler’s fuck about their respective passports.’