Minister Cowen Announces the Introduction of a Lo-Call Phone Service for Irish Passport Applicants from Northern Ireland
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., today welcomed the provision of a Lo-Call telephone facility for passport applicants resident in Northern Ireland. Passport applicants in this jurisdiction already have the option of using Lo-Call numbers when making enquiries to the Passport Office.
Remarking on the introduction of the service Mr. Cowen said, " The provision of this service is most appropriate. Previously applicants resident in Northern Ireland, wishing to contact the Passport Office by telephone, were charged at the full international call rate. Furthermore, unlike applicants in the South, who can make routine passport enquires at their local Post Office or Garda Station, applicants from the North have little option but to contact the Passport Office by telephone, even to enquire about the most routine of matters".
The Minister went on to say that "There has been a significant increase in the number of applications from persons resident in Northern Ireland in recent years - from 7,779 in 1994 to 21,434 in 1999. This rapid rate of increase is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, especially because of people's heightened consciousness of their Irish citizenship in the new constitutional and political situation".
The Lo - Call service number - 0845 850 4321- will be advertised widely in newspapers in Northern Ireland in the coming days. Top