Fianna Fáil TD for Longford – Westmeath Robert Troy has urged the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade to urgently make additional resources available to help tackle a growing backlog with passport applications.
Deputy Troy made the comments after raising the issue in the Dáil with Minister Flanagan.
Deputy Troy said, “We always see a surge in demand for passport services at this time of year, but unfortunately waiting times for passports are increasing. I have been inundated with calls from people who have applied but who are waiting over a month to get their passport.
“The use of the term “working days” is also catching a lot of people out, with many expecting their passport to arrive within two weeks, rather than the minimum of four, which, in many cases, is not being met at the moment.
“Despite the annual summer surge, Minister Charlie Flanagan appears to be completely unprepared to deal with the level of applications being lodged. While Brexit has no doubt had an impact on the increase in demand for Irish passports, this possibility had been flagged as far back as the summer of 2016 so there is no excuse for the current delays which are being experienced by applicants.
“I was dismayed by the response I received by Minister Flanagan when I raised it with him. He continues to claim that the current target of 10 working days is being met for passport applications. This simply is not the case and the experience from people on the ground shows that it is taking at least a month for their passport applications to be processed.
“Minister Flanagan needs to urgently make additional resources available to help tackle this problem. We need to see more staff being assigned to work on processing passport applications and overtime should be made available to current staff to help clear the backlog,” concluded Deputy Troy.