Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach
Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has said that statements from the Minister for Foreign Affairs and on the Department’s website regarding the turnaround times for processing of passports are not factual.
The Louth Deputy said: "The Minister has said in an answer to a Parliamentary Question and again in the Dáil that the processing time for Passport Express renewal application is 16 days, whereas I have been dealing with queries on behalf of constituents where the waiting time has been five to six weeks.
“The Minister in the Dáil has blamed the recent bad weather on the problems within the system, however, from the queries coming through my office, this seems to be an on-going problem," he continued.
“In an answer to a Parliamentary Question, I have been told that there are currently 66,000 passport applications in the system being processed and that the applications are up 7% from the same time last year. I have been told that recently, over 20 permanent staff have been recruited into the Passport Service to deal with the increase in applications.
“The online application service is offering a much shorter turnaround time than An Post Passport Express. I have been told that online applications will be processed within 10 working days, and often quicker than that. At present, the online service only accommodates adult renewals and passport card applications. Passports for children and first-time applications must be done through Passport Express.
“I am urging everyone to check their passports now if they have travel plans. I would advise people to use the on-line system if they can and to apply well in advance of travel dates”.