ENNISKILLEN post office handed out approximately 300 Irish passport application forms in the space of just 24 hours following the result of last Thursday’s EU referendum result.
A spokesman for the post office in the Diamond said the forms had been “flying out the door” in the wake of the victory for the Leave campaign, with the demand continuing into this week.
“Since Friday morning staff have given out in the region of 300 forms,” said the spokesman, speaking on Monday morning. “It’s only early now, we’ve already seen people coming in for them today.”
The spokesman said Irish passport applications were “always quite popular” in Enniskillen, but the Post Office had never seen such sudden and overwhelming demand.
“We have whole families coming in for forms,” they continued. “Many of them already have British passports, and are now applying for an Irish one as well.”
The surge in Fermanagh is in keeping with the trend across the North, as people from both sides of the political divide scramble to avail of their right to an Irish passport. With everything so uncertain following the Brexit result on Friday morning, it would seem many people are fearful what right, if any, British citizens will have to travel unrestricted throughout Europe once the country completes it departure from the EU. Holding an Irish passport, is believed, would ensure they retain that privilege of free movement throughout EU member states.
Such has been the demand for Irish passports, one post office in Belfast city centre even ran out of application forms on Friday. Even staunch ‘Leave’ campaigners, such as the DUP’s Ian Paisley Jnr, have been urging their constituents to take the opportunity to apply for one.
“My advice is if your are entitled to a second passport, take one,” said the North Antrim MP on Twitter.
Anyone from Northern Ireland, and anyone with a parent born in either the Republic or the North, is automatically entitled to full Irish citizenship.
Furthermore, anyone with an Irish-born grandparent, or in certain situations even a great-grandparent, is entitled to claim an Irish passport, and there has also been a surge in demand for passports from residents on mainland UK. An estimated six million Britons are believed to be entitled to an Irish passport.
Search engine giants Google said on Friday they had seen a spike in searches from across the UK on both applying for an Irish passport and applying for dual citizenship in the hours after the EU referendum result was announced.
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Posted: 9:00 am June 30, 2016