30/09/2013

NI Excluded From New Irish Passport Design

The new-look Irish passports will not contain any imagery from Northern Ireland in their new design, it has been revealed.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore launched the newly-designed passport today.

The design features images of Irish landmarks including Croagh Patrick, Kylemore Abbey and Croke Park, as well as drawings depicting Irish music and dance and Gaelic games.

Unveiling the new design in Dublin, the Tánaiste said: "We have combined the latest security technology with selected imagery in order to produce a passport which represents Ireland – our culture, our history, and our people.

"The images used range from a stunning perspective of the Cliffs of Moher to the new landscape along the river Liffey, with the Dublin Convention Centre to the foreground and the Custom House and Liberty Hall peering through the harp strings of the Samuel Beckett Bridge.

"Images of Croagh Patrick and the Rock of Cashel feature alongside drawings depicting Irish music and dance and Gaelic games. The passport features poems from three of this island’s finest poets: Nuala ní Dhomhnaill, William Butler Yeats, and James Orr."

All Irish passports issued from 3 October will feature the new design.

There had been speculation as to whether any images featuring landmarks within the six counties of Northern Ireland would be included, prior to today's announcement.

As citizens of Ireland, residents of Northern Ireland are eligible to apply for an Irish passport, as well as a British one.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said over 40,000 applications were received through the Northern Ireland Passport Express channel in 2012.

Over 630,000 passports were issued over the year, of which 350,000 were to adults.

Almost 53,000 applications were received through the London Passport Office.

July was the busiest month in 2012 with 78,000 passports issued, while December was the quietest with just over 20,000.

The Tánaiste continued: "Today, Irish passport holders travel more often and to more destinations than at any time in the past. In 2012, we issued over 600,000 passports to Irish citizens around the world. I would urge Irish citizens to check the validity of their current passport and to apply for a new book well in advance of any travel."

(IT/MH)

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