Minister Cowen announces record level of Passports issued in the first seven months of 2004
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., today announced that the number of Irish passports issued in Ireland to the end of July is again at record level.
The Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork issued over 353,000 passports, up by over 13.5% on last year.
The total number of passports issued in Ireland by year end is expected to be over 520,000, up from 467,000 last year.
The number of passports likely to be issued in Ireland and by overseas Missions this year is expected to exceed 630,000. This is double the number of passports issued as recently as 1997.
In making this announcement, Minister Cowen said
AI want to thank the staff of the Passport Offices and Missions abroad for their continuing hard work and dedication in what is shaping up to be yet another record year for the number of passports issued.
A Last month alone the Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork issued over 60,000 passports, almost 3,000 daily.’’
AI welcome the fact that almost 70% of all passport applicants in Ireland come through the A Passport Express@ service, whereby passport applicants can apply for a passport at over 1,000 Post Offices throughout the State and be assured of receiving their new passport within 10 working days. I would continue to encourage passport applicants to use Passport Express which is the most efficient and convenient method of applying for a passport.”
“I also very much welcome the success of the express postal service which was extended earlier this year to almost 40 post office branches in Northern Ireland. The take up this year of this service has been very encouraging with over 10,000 passport applications having been received by end July. This is in excess of the total received in the whole of last year. I expect that by the end of this year over 15,000 applications will have been received through this service which provides a guaranteed 10 working day return service and is the most efficient and convenient method of applying for a passport for persons resident in Northern Ireland.”
“To enable the Passport Office to continue to provide the highest levels of service, my Department has commissioned a new passport issuing system which will come into operation in Autumn of this year. This project, known as the Automated Passport System [APS], is making good progress. A new purpose built passport production facility has been completed in Balbriggan, Co Dublin. Full passport production, using the new system, will be underway before the end of this year.”