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Big increase in Britons seeking Irish passports

By Caroline Mortimer

Published 08/08/2016

There's been a sharp rise in Irish passport applications
There's been a sharp rise in Irish passport applications

The number of Britons applying for an Irish passport has surged by more than 70% since the Brexit vote.

The latest figures released by the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs shows applications for an Irish passport from Britain in July have increased 73% from the same point last year.

In July 2015 there were 4,242 applications for an Irish passport compared to 7,321 in the month after the vote for the UK to leave the European Union.

There has also been a corresponding 63% spike in the number of people in Northern Ireland applying for a passport.

Some 6,638 applied for an Irish passport in July this year - up 2,568 on the 4,070 who applied last year.

People born in Northern Ireland have an automatic right to Irish citizenship.

British people with an Irish parent, or in certain circumstances an Irish grandparent, also have an automatic right to become Irish citizens.

The Irish Foreign Affairs department has stressed that the UK remains a member of the EU for at least two more years and enjoys all the same rights as other EU citizens until that point.

The department has said: "There is no urgent need therefore for UK passport holders to look into applying for an Irish passport at this time."

On the Monday following the vote the Irish embassy in London and post offices in Northern Ireland received more than 4,000 enquiries about citizenship - compared to a typical daily limit of 200.

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