Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher has called on the Minister for Foreign Affairs to examine the possibility of locating a new passport office in Co. Monaghan to cater for the increased demand for Irish passports, particularly from people living in Northern Ireland.
The Senator explained, “Since the Brexit result back in June the number of applications for Irish passports has sky-rocketed. According to reports this week 117,000 people in the UK have applied for an Irish passport, with around 59,000 residing in Northern Ireland. This is putting extra pressure on the current passport system and a new office based in Monaghan could help alleviate this additional workload.
“Monaghan is ideally located as it borders three of the North’s six counties – Armagh, Tyrone and Fermanagh – and is easily accessed from the other three. The establishment of an office in Monaghan would also send out a positive signal and would create an economic and confidence boost for the area, which is already experiencing the negative fallout from the Brexit vote.
“The retail and agri sector, particularly the mushroom industry, has seen their businesses badly hit. The collapse of Sterling has led to serious price differentials for growers, with fears of job losses continuing to grow. In terms of retail, shoppers are heading North to benefit from the currency fluctuations and local businesses along the border are losing out at the busiest time of the year.
“Investment in this county is long overdue. Not only would a passport office relieve the pressure on the existing service, it would create employment and confidence in Monaghan. I am urging Minister Charlie Flanagan to give serious consideration to this proposal and examine the possibility of locating a passport office in County Monaghan in the not too distant future”, concluded Senator Gallagher.