Minister Cowen announces record level of Passports issued in 2002
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., announced today that the number of Irish passports issued in 2002 by his Department was again at record level.
· The Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork have issued over 440,000 passports in 2002.
· The total number of passports issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, at home and abroad, this year is over 530,000.
· This represents an increase of 13% on 2001 levels and is almost double the number of passports issued as recently as 1996.
In making this announcement, Minister Cowen said,
“I want to congratulate the Staff of the Passport Offices on their achievement in what has been yet another record year for the number of passports issued.
“ During July this year the Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork issued over 62,000 passports, almost 10,000 higher than in any month in the previous year.
“I also welcome the fact that over 70% of all passport applicants in the State now use the “Passport Express” system”, whereby passport applicants can apply for a passport at over 1,000 Post Offices throughout the country and be assured of receiving their passport within 10 working days. Since Passport Express was introduced in 1995 the number of applications submitted through that system has more than doubled.
Minister Cowen concluded,
“The partnership between the Passport Office and An Post continues to work exceptionally well, and I would encourage more passport applicants to use Passport Express which is the most efficient and convenient method of applying for a passport.”