Passport delays causing concern for Limerick families 

CONTINUING delays in processing passport applications is causing major stress to Limerick families planning holidays this summer.

That’s according to Limerick Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan who said that the current backlog for passport applications has increased from 165,000 at the beginning of April to 170,000 at the beginning of May.

“There are still significant delays involved in getting a new passport, especially if it’s a first time application. After two years of Covid, many people want to update their passports for holidays later this summer and finding that there is a very slow turnaround at the passport office.”

The Castleconnell based Senator explained that his office has been inundated with requests for assistance on the issue.

“People have booked their holidays and sent in their application, but have yet to receive their passports. It’s a hugely stressful situation. People are still waiting over a month for regular renewals, and much longer for first time passports, and renewals of passports that are more than five years old.

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“The most frustrating part of all of this is that it was entirely predictable that there would be a surge in passport applications but as usual this government are coming up a day late and a dollar short when it comes to this issue.”

Senator Gavan has called for urgent action to tackle the backlog.

“I understand that further additional staff are in the process of being hired, but these measures should have been taken months ago. The closure of the passport office for so much of the Covid pandemic has caused chaos. The significant increase in staffing is welcome, but should have taken account of the fact that the busiest period would be now,”he concluded.