Belfast Telegraph

Apply for Irish passport if you can, advises DUP MP Ian Paisley

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

By Staff Reporter

The DUP's Ian Paisley has advised people in Northern Ireland to get Irish passports following the Brexit vote.

The North Antrim MP's advice came as a big increase in applications for Irish passports for residents in Northern Ireland and in Britain is expected.

Mr Paisley, who campaigned strongly with the DUP for a Leave result, surprised many on Twitter when he wrote: "My advice is if you are entitled to a second passport then take one.

"I sign off lots of applications for constituents."

One Twitter user said that their cousins were entitled to passports in four different countries thanks to parents from the UK and Ireland, being born in South Africa, and having US residency.

Mr Paisley added: "My advice is to take as many as you can, especially if you travel to different world trouble zones."

Belfast's Central Post Office ran out of application forms for Irish passports on Saturday because of heavy demand.

Bridge Street in the city centre was forced to put a notice up in store stating that an emergency order for the forms had been placed.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said that entitlements to Irish citizenship and passports for those born on the island of Ireland, and those claiming citizenship through parents or grandparents born in Ireland, are "unchanged" after the referendum result.

In the past decade more than 90,000 people born in Britain have received Irish passports.

And more than 150,000 people born in Northern Ireland received Irish passports in the same period.

And it's not just Northern Ireland that is seeing the spike in demand.

Outside the passport office in London, Jonathon Potts said: "I don't want to lose my freedom to live and work in 28 different countries and hopefully my Irish grandma will help me."

In March The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said it had seen a 33% rise in applications from people with an Irish grandparent and 11% from people with an Irish parent.

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