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Deputy Matthews raises concerns in relation to passport application delays for children

Date: 2 November 2021

Deputy Matthews was speaking following a series of submissions he made to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, on behalf of a number of constituents who have been unable to get passports for their young children due to delays in processing. Discussing the matter, Deputy Matthews said:

“I have been in regular contact with the Minister’s office since the beginning of the summer as we began to see a reopening of foreign travel. In fairness to the Passport Office, many of the teething issues brought about by the huge influx in applications have since been resolved and the turnaround time for applications is back within their targets. Unfortunately, the main issue which has yet to be resolved is the delay in obtaining first passports for children – which in some cases brought to my attention in recent weeks can take several months – which is not acceptable.

“This is an issue that I have raised on a number of occasions with the Minister, both in writing and in the Dáil but the matter persists. Unfortunately, this has led to situations where people have been forced to cancel trips, have missed funerals and in one tragic instance were unable to visit a dying relative before they passed away.

“While I think we all fully accepted delays in obtaining passports during the earlier stages of lockdown, now that we are getting closer to full capacity in terms of foreign travel, these issues need to be ironed out. The real-life implications of being unable to get a child’s first passport can be extremely upsetting and costly for families.

“I have been in a fortunate position to assist a number of families with there applications in recent weeks, so I would ask anyone who is struggling to obtain a passport to get in touch with me directly and I will assist in any way I can.

“One point raised by the Minister in his recent response to me on this issue was the advice from his Department that flights should not be booked without having a passport but the reality is, this isn’t just about family holidays and the existing turnaround time of a couple of months or more is not acceptable, concluded Deputy Matthews.



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