Deputy Pauline Tully (SF).

Backlog of over 1,000 passport applications for Cavan and Monaghan

There are more than 1,000 passport applications from persons living in Cavan and Monaghan currently caught up in the system backlog.

It has prompted criticism from local Sinn Féin TD Pauline Tully, who expressed deep concern at what she says is a failure by government to put in place provisions to address the issues.

To date in 2021 alone, the Passport Service has received almost 400,000 passport applications.

According to figures revealed to the Sinn Féin there are currently approximately 112,000 applications with the Passport Service, and some 50,000 of these require additional documentation.

According to the same figures, there are 592 applications outstanding in Cavan and 419 waiting to be processed from Monaghan.

"The backlog in processing passport applications is down to the failure of the government to put in place sufficient supports for the passport service during this the busiest time of the year," says Deputy Tully, who noted that during normal times there is a core staff of around 450 in the passport section, which increases during peak periods by 200. But at present, staff numbers are significantly down, with only about 500 personnel in total left to deal with current demands.

Calling upon the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, to provide additional resources, Deputy Tully said: "There can be no doubt as to the effort that the staff and management in the passport service are putting in to deal with both the backlog accrued over Covid, and the deluge of applications coming forward at this point, which is the peak period for passport applications."