Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Darragh O’Brien TD has urged anyone intending on travelling abroad to check that their passports are in date and to allow sufficient time if they need to be renewed.
O’Brien made his comments over concerns that applications submitted via the An Post Passport Express Service are not being processed within the target turnaround time of 15 days.
Deputy O’Brien said, “We are entering the holiday season and I am urging all those intending on travelling abroad to check that their passports are in date and to allow sufficient time if they require their passport to be renewed.
“If possible I would urge people to renew their passport via the Online Passport Renewal Service which has a target time of 10 working days. This service can be accessed at https://passportonline.dfa.ie. However, I would caution that at present the online service only accommodates adult renewals and passport card applications.
“I specifically raised the issue of resources with regard to the passport service with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney at a recent meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Trade Committee. This is something which I have consistently raised with the Minister and have highlighted that additional resources are needed to ensure passport processing times are met. The current service is under resourced and unable to keep up with demand.
“I have come across several cases where people are waiting in excess of 20 days for a renewal and 25 days for a new passport application. I was informed by Minister Coveney that losing three days as a result of Storm Emma has resulted in the backlog in processing passport applications. Whilst I appreciate that this has created difficulties it is imperative that additional resources are given to ensure that the public can have their passports processed within the expected time-frame.
“I intend to raise this issue again next week with Minister Coveney. It is essential that, given the large increase in passport applications as a result of Brexit and the impending holiday season, the entirety of our passport service is sufficiently resourced to meet demand.”