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'Unprecedented' demand for Irish passports from British as polls indicate Brexit EU referendum result

The Republic of Ireland's government has had to hire on 200 temporary workers to cope with a surge in demand for Irish passports.

It comes as latest polling figures indicate a marginal win for the leave campaign in the forthcoming EU referendum.

Sky News reported that in the first five months of 2015, 1,518 Britons applied for an Irish passport.

In the same period this year that figure had increased by 25% to 1,901. Almost 1,000 were made in April alone.

Anyone with an Irish parent, grandparent or great-grand parent can become an Irish citizen.

More:

EU Referendum: Northern Ireland says no to Brexit 

EU referendum as important for Ireland as Good Friday Agreement - Enda Kenny 

 

Irish rugby captain Rory Best urges voters to back Remain

Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan told Sky News the level of passport requests was "unprecedented" and they were forced to employ 200 extra temporary staff to cope with demand.

However, he said there was no evidence to suggest the increase was linked to the EU referendum.

"But I do acknowledge the factual position that there is a heightened interest in passport application and Irish citizenship."

If Britain leaves the EU, those with Irish passports will remain EU citizens making it easier for them to travel throughout the continent.

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