Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (111)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

111. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if a passport printing machine will be provided to the Cork Passport Office (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21251/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

The Passport Service provides a range of application channels to Irish citizens wishing to apply for a passport. These include a postal application system, an online passport application service and the network of Irish Missions worldwide. In the relatively small number of cases where citizens need to travel very urgently and do not have a valid passport, the Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork offer an appointment service. These appointments can be made online at www.passportappointments.ie/.

Passport printing and personalisation requires highly specialised machinery, auxiliary equipment and a temperature-controlled environment. The production equipment and suites need continual engineering support and trained staff to manage the sites. In addition to the purchase cost of a new passport printing machine, there are set up and maintenance costs associated with such equipment.

The printing capacity of production equipment currently employed by the Passport Service is sufficient to meet current and anticipated future demand for passports. There are no plans at this time to commission additional passport production equipment or sites.

There is a facility in the Cork Passport Office that allows for the production of emergency travel documents where strict criteria for the issuance of such documentation has been met.