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Brexit sees record 900,000 applying for Irish passport

A record 900,000 people applied for an Irish passport this year, ranging in age from five days to 101 years. (Brian Lawless/PA)
A record 900,000 people applied for an Irish passport this year, ranging in age from five days to 101 years. (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Kevin Doyle

A record 900,000 people applied for an Irish passport this year, ranging in age from five days to 101 years.

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More than one in 10 passports now being issued is being given to a UK resident, showing the major impact Brexit is having.

More than 94,000 first-time applications were received from people born in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

Figures released by the Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs show that March was the busiest month on record ever for passport applications. This coincided with the original date on which the UK was due to leave the European Union.

Some 112,902 passports were issued that month alone, including 5,581 on March 12.

Total monthly applications exceeded 100,000 in January, March, April and May in 2019.

Tanaiste Simon Coveney described 2019 as a "bumper year for the passport service".

"The Irish passport is a valuable document and we continue to strengthen all processes to prevent fraud and maintain its integrity and security," he said. "Finally, as we approach 2020, I would remind all prospective travellers to check the validity of their passport before booking a trip overseas.

"If you need to renew your passport, I encourage you to do so online and in the off-peak period, to ensure the shortest possible renewal time."

Based on passport applications, the most popular baby girl names this year were Grace, Emily and Anna, while Jack, James and Noah topped the boys' list. Leading the field in surnames worldwide was Murphy, followed by Kelly and Walsh.

For those who applied abroad, the cities with the most applications were New York, Pretoria, Canberra, San Francisco, Abu Dhabi, Ottawa, Sydney, Paris, Chicago and Berlin.

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