Number of British people applying for Irish passports rises 22 per cent in 2018

New figure almost doubles total number of applications since Britain voted to leave EU

Samuel Osborne
Monday 31 December 2018 12:56
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Almost 100,000 Irish passport applications were received from Great Britain in 2018, up from 81,000 last year and 46,000 in 2015
Almost 100,000 Irish passport applications were received from Great Britain in 2018, up from 81,000 last year and 46,000 in 2015

The number of British citizens applying for Irish passports increased by 22 per cent this year.

Almost 100,000 Irish passport applications were received from Great Britain in 2018, Ireland's foreign office said.

It more than doubled the total number of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

The figure is up from 81,000 last year and 46,000 in 2015, the year before the Brexit vote led to a sharp rise in applications.

Anybody born in the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland, or with an Irish parent or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport – a total of about six million British citizens. They are able to hold dual citizenship.

Nearly 85,000 applications came from Northern Ireland, where citizens can hold both an Irish and British passport as the province is part of the United Kingdom, an increase of 2 per cent over last year.

Minister for foreign affairs Simon Coveney said a total of 822,581 travel documents were issued.

Brexit: What will happen in 2019?

With three months left until the UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March, the draft divorce deal reached between both sides is floundering ahead of a planned vote in the British parliament next month.

Additional reporting by agencies

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