Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has today revealed that demand by UK citizens for Irish passports has surged by 50% since the Brexit vote. More than half a million new Irish passports have been issued in the year to June 2017, and nearly 100,000 of these have gone to UK residents. In comparison, during 2016 only 65,000 Irish passports were issued to UK citizens.
The surge in applications reflects the desire of those with Irish ancestry to keep their options open following Brexit. Irish media outlets reported in June that the busiest day for the Irish London embassy’s passport office was March 28 2017 – the date that Prime Minister, Theresa May, triggered the Article 50 process whereby the UK will leave the EU. Anyone born in Ireland, or whose parents were born in Ireland, automatically qualifies for an Irish passport, whilst anyone whose grandparents were born in Ireland are entitled to apply for an Irish passport. An estimated six million people in Britian have some Irish ancestry, with many eligible for an Irish passport.