Minister Cowen announces major extension of the 'Passport Express' service in Northern Ireland
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Brian Cowen, TD, today announced that the ‘Passport Express' service is to be significantly extended within Northern Ireland.
Under these arrangements, applicants may obtain application forms and also apply for their passport through almost 40 Post Office branches throughout Northern Ireland and, subject to the application being in order, receive their passport back in 10 working days.
This service was initially set up on a trial basis last March in 5 locations - Derry, Newry, Enniskillen and two in Belfast, as well as two locations in Britain (Liverpool and Glasgow). The take up of the service has been very successful with over 10,000 applications being received by end December 2003. This accounts for almost 40% of the 25,000 applications received from Northern Ireland last year.
The Minister said ' I am extremely happy with the success of this service within such a short period of time since its introduction on an initial trial basis early last year. The extension of the service to almost 40 Post Office branches will provide a level of service comparable to the 'Passport Express' service currently enjoyed by persons in the State.’
The extension will take effect from Thursday 15 April.
A full list of the Post Offices which will offer the service is attached.
Note for editors:
This service was set up initially on a trial basis through 5 main Post Office branches in Northern Ireland- Derry (Custom House Square), Newry (Hill Street), Enniskillen (East Bridge Street), Belfast (Castle Place and Kennedy Centre), and through two Branches in Britain - Liverpool and Glasgow. The service will continue to be available from all these branches.
Persons are able to collect passport application forms at these Post Office branches and also avail of a 'Passport Express' despatch/return service available. This is similar to the 'Passport Express' service currently operated between the Passport Office and An Post in the State whereby applications submitted through a Post office, if in order, will be processed and the new passport issued within 10 working days.
Applicants pay a handling charge of £6.00 at the Post Office branch for the service. This includes the transmission of the application by Airsure next day delivery to the Passport Office in Dublin. The applicant also pays the sterling equivalent of the relevant passport fee and a portion of the return postage cost directly at the Post Office branch. In the case of the standard 10 year passport this amounts to £54.50 [£53 for the passport and £1.50 towards Swiftpost return postage].
The benefit to applicants is primarily two fold - -They receive their passport back in 10 working days whereas applications sent by regular post are processed in 4 weeks. -Applicants are able to pay for their passport in sterling at the post office whereas applicants sent by regular post must include payment in Euro.
Full List Attached.
Press Section 17 March 2004
Post Offices which will offer ‘Passport Express’ service from 15 April 2004
OUTLET NAME Belfast 25 Castle Place Belfast
Newry 50/52 Hill Street Newry County Down
Omagh 7 High Street Omagh County Tyrone
Ballymena 51-63 Wellington Street Ballymena County Antrim
Bangor 143 Main Street Bangor County Down
Coleraine 16-18 New Row Coleraine County Derry
Lurgan 2 Market Street Lurgan Craigavon CO ARMAGH
Antrim 27-28 Castle Centre Antrim CO ANTRIM
Derry 3 Custom House Street Londonderry Cookstown 49 James Street Cookstown County Tyrone
Newtownards 8 Frances Street Newtownards County Down
Shaftesbury Square 1-5 Botanic Avenue Belfast County Antrim
Lisburn 2 Linenhall Street Lisburn County Antrim
Brownstown Road 11 Brownstown Road Portadown Craigavon
Magherafelt 13-15 Market Street Magherafelt County Derry
Holywood 101-103 High Street Holywood County Down
Ards Centre Ards Shopping Centre Circular Road Newtownards County Down
Limavady 38/40 Main Street Limavady County Derry
Strabane Stabane PO 67 Main Street Strabane County Tyrone
Muckamore 126 Belfast Road Antrim
Ballymoney 11 Linenhall Street Ballymoney County Antrim
Spencer Road 24-28 Spencer Road Waterside Derry County Derry
Shantallow Gormsley Superstore Northside Village Centre Shantallow Derry County Derry
Enniskillen 13/15 East Bridge Street Enniskillen County Fermanagh
Larne 98 Main Street Larne County Antrim
Yorkgate Shopping Centre Tesco Store 20-25 York Street Belfast County Antrim Armagh 31 Upper English St. Armagh
Banbridge 26 Newry Street Banbridge
The Oaks The Oaks PO The Oaks Centre Oaks Road Dungannon Co. Tyrone Coalisland 28A Dungannon Road Coalisland Dungannon
Portadown Supervalu 13-15 High Street Portadown Craigavon
Longstone St 127 Longstone Street Lisburn County Antrim
Brackenvale 520 Saintfield Road Belfast
Kennedy Centre 564-568 Falls Road Belfast
Bedford Street Bedford House 16-22 Bedford Street Belfast
Carrickfergus CO-OP Superstore Belfast Road Carrickfergus County Antrim
Downpatrick 65 Lower Market Street Downpatrick County Down
+++ENDS 17 March 2004 Press Office