Over a third of people in Northern Ireland now hold an Irish Passport…

Writing in Monday’s Irish Times, Brian Hutton examines the increase in Irish Passports from people in Northern Ireland. He writes:

Already this year, 24,643 people were issued with Irish passports in the North through Northern Ireland Passport Express (NIPX), which is available at post offices in the North. This is more than 400 every day.

If the trend continues it suggests more than 150,000 Irish passports would be issued in the North by the year end.

This would eclipse, dramatically, the 107,937 issued through NIPX in 2019 – the last full-year figure before coronavirus prevented international travel for most.

Issued passports during 2019 in the North soared 27 per cent from the previous year (84,855). This continued a pattern of rising Irish passport applications in the region against declining British applications following Brexit.

Warning, the following quote might make you choke on your Rice Crispies:

The Democratic Unionist Party’s Sammy Wilson has previously said he gets “quite a lot” of loyalist voters in his constituency who ask him to sign off on their applications for Irish passports.

The East Antrim MP said he encourages constituents going on holidays to opt for an Irish passport as it is a quicker process and negates restrictions imposed on British citizens in the EU as a result of Brexit.

On the plus side, it is good to be pragmatic. Back in the day, people would often get two passports to spend more time in countries like Australia. Is that still a thing?

Photo by Allan LEONARD

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