The post-Brexit referendum surge in Irish passport applications from citizens in the North and Great Britain continued last year with 779,000 - a record number - issued in 2017.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, T.D., said: “This is the highest number of Irish passports ever issued in one year.
“It represents an increase of over six per cent compared to 2016 (itself a record-breaking year), and an increase of over 15 per cent since 2015. The number of applicants from Northern Ireland and Great Britain has continued to rise.
“Overall, almost 20 per cent of the total number of applications received by the Passport Service this year were from Irish citizens in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.”
Meanwhile, the Tánaiste has also revealed the immense degree of Brexit-related diplomacy invested by Irish ministers and officials to help ensure the protection of the Good Friday Agreement was built into the talks process. He revealed that there were 738 high level engagements and 433 stakeholder consultations in connection with Brexit during 2017 alone.
“We can be proud of what we accomplished in phase one on the negotiations - we achieved the goals we set out, including maintenance of the Common Travel Area, protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and the gains of the peace process, including guarantees on avoiding a hard border,” said the Tánaiste.