Unacceptable that Irish citizen are waiting 35 days for a passport despite paying for the service – Collins
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Niall Collins TD has said it is simply unacceptable that citizens are being forced to wait in excess of 35 days to obtain new or replacement passport under the Passport Express Service.
“What is being lost in this whole debacle is that Irish citizens have a legal right to a passport to allow them travel, and that they are paying for that privilege.
Deputy Collins made his comments after receiving information by way of parliamentary question which revealed that the actual turnaround time for passport applications.
“The target time for first time passport applicants and those seeking to replace a lost, stolen or damaged passport through the An Post Passport Express is 20 days but the reality is far from this. The actual turnaround time is 35+ working days – a full three working weeks behind target.
“As we head into the peak holiday season, there will be an additional surge in the number of people applying for a passport. Citizens expect that getting a passport approved and printed can take a relatively short period of time, but waiting longer than seven weeks is simply unacceptable.
“The summer holiday season, like clockwork, happens every 12 months. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Government. There should have been a better plan put in place to address increasing application volumes.
“This is not a free service to citizens. Passports cost €80 each – that is a significant cost for citizens and should, I believe, require a more efficient response from the Passport Office.
“The Tánaiste needs to get his head out of the sand, look at the entire passport service, and find ways of speeding up the delivery of this very important service for citizens. One suggestion may be to open a second passport printing unit to alleviate demand during peak periods,” concluded Collins.
Niall Collins TD
Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade