Today, new proposals will be brought to Cabinet by the Minister for Foreign Affairs which will deem the production of passports an essential service.
The majority of passport services have been suspended since December in line with the Level 5 restrictions.
It is planned that the Minister will ask the Cabinet to consider passport services an essential service in order to allow the backlog to be efficiently cleared.
Approximately 89,000 people have been affected by delays in the processing of passport applications including 44,000 domestic applications and 45,000 from outside the State.
The issuing of a passport to Irish citizens is provided for under the Passports Act 2008 which states:
‘a person who is an Irish citizen and is, subject to this Act, thereby entitled to be issued with a passport.’
Berkeley Solicitors therefore believes that the failure to issue passports to Irish citizens is contrary to this Act.
This matter is of great concern and Berkeley Solicitors has received many queries from those who have been unable to receive a passport for travel or identification purposes.
In deeming the production of passports an essential service, it is hoped that this backlog can be cleared in a matter of weeks.
Berkeley Solicitors are happy to see this news today and we hope that it will benefit those who have been affected.