Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Darragh O’Brien TD has said that there has been a 10% surge in the number of Irish passports issued this year when compared to 2015.

Deputy O’Brien made his comments on foot of a parliamentary question which he recently tabled to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“The number of Irish passports issued as of December 13th 2016 was 719,675 and this is projected to increase to almost 740,000 by the end of the year. This represents an almost 10% increase on the 2015,” he added.

“Undoubtedly, Brexit has had a significant impact on the numbers applying for an Irish passport. Since the referendum result was announced we have seen a spike in the amount of applications received by the passport office. Demand has increased further on foot of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

“Being the owner of an Irish passport has always being regarded as highly valuable and has now become even more respected as it represents a gateway to the EU.

“The increase in those applying for an Irish passport also underscores the fact that despite the outcome of the referendum there are many people who are keen to retain the benefits associated with EU membership and the fundamental principle of free movement.