‘Clear demand for Irish Passport Office in North’ – Newry MLA

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
Community, Politics

Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has said that there is a great support for the campaign to get the Irish government to open a dedicated Passport Office in Northern Ireland.

The #6CoPassports campaign has been led by her colleague, Senator Niall Ó Donnaghaile and he recently joined Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin activists in Newry to gather signatures for the Campaign Petition.



The Newry and Armagh representative explained, “According to figures published in the Irish Times, 53,715 people in the North applied for Irish passports the year before the vote on Brexit.

“This increased to 67,582 in 2016, and 80,964 this year. It is time that the Irish government recognise the latest figures in passport applications coming from the six counties and to open a dedicated resource here,” she said.



The MLA continued, “The response here in the Newry region shows a clear demand from citizens that services are put in place to meet the growing demand.

“My Sinn Féin Senator colleague and spokesperson on North-South Integration, Niall Ó Donnghaile during his recent appearance in front of the Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement, put it to Minister Simon Coveney that he explores the idea of a dedicated “citizenship hub” located in the North.



“This could be a place for passport applications to be processed but also a valuable resource in assisting Irish citizens in terms of their legal rights and entitlements post-Brexit. It would also create jobs.”

The Sinn Féin MLA added, “Staff in the Passport Office have been doing a fantastic job under immense pressure as a result of Brexit.

“The Irish government must acknowledge that increased demand from the public warrants necessary investment to meet a clear and identifiable need. Sinn Féin has written to Minister Coveney seeking an update on his department’s plans to meet this growing demand.”



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