Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland residents' new Irish passports 'lost in the system', MLA claims

There has been an influx of Irish passport applications since the Brexit referendum (Brian Lawless/PA)
There has been an influx of Irish passport applications since the Brexit referendum (Brian Lawless/PA)

Northern Ireland residents awaiting the delivery of Irish passports have not received their documents because they have been "lost in the system", an MLA has claimed.

SDLP representative Daniel McCrossan said he has been contacted by several constituents in Strabane over the issue in recent weeks.

He said the problem appears to arise when the new passports are being transferred from the Irish postal service, An Post, to Royal Mail at the border.

"After contacting officials, it seems that the passports in each case were delivered by An Post to Royal Mail and have subsequently become lost in the system," said Mr McCrossan.

“This is obviously very serious; these are sensitive documents with personal information. It’s a significant concern that it has happened to a number of people in a relatively short space of time.

“This needs to be resolved quickly. People should have confidence that their travel documents will be delivered safely. I will be raising the matter with Royal Mail urgently."

Since the Brexit referendum, there has been a surge in the number of applicants for Irish passports from Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

Last month, it was revealed that first-time applications from Great Britain have increased five-fold since the vote, while applications from Northern Ireland have more than doubled.

In the year to June 30, a total of 31,099 applications came from Great Britain, while 47,645 originated from Northern Ireland.

The year before the referendum, in 2015, these figures were 6,011 and 20,325, respectively.

Royal Mail has been contacted for a comment.

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