Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (49, 50, 51, 52)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

49. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of Irish passports in circulation in date and currently valid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45385/13]

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Jerry Buttimer

Question:

50. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of Irish passports issued to persons ordinarily resident in Ireland or persons using Irish addresses on their application in each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45386/13]

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Jerry Buttimer

Question:

51. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of Irish passports issued to persons ordinarily resident outside Ireland or persons using addresses in other countries on their application in each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45387/13]

View answer

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

52. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the connection to Ireland that is required in order to qualify for an Irish passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45388/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 49 to 52, inclusive, together.

There were approximately 4,695,000 Irish passports in circulation, in date, and valid on 21 October 2013. The Passports Act 2008 requires that before issuing a passport to a person, the Passport Service must be satisfied that the applicant is an Irish citizen. An Irish citizen is defined in the Act as a person who:

- is an Irish citizen under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Acts 1956 to 2004; or

- acquires Irish citizenship under those Acts or any other enactment.

The Passport Service technology system does not record "address" information in the structured format necessary to facilitate the production of management information in relation to place of residency etc. The availability of this information would require a fundamental redesign of the system, which could not be cost justified for this facility alone. This matter will be addressed in the context of any major system changes which may emerge in the future.

Additionally as passports are issued for a ten year period it would not be unusual for people to change address a number of times over this period, information which is not provided to the Passport Service.