New information provided to Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath, Joe Flaherty, show that there is a backlog of some 1,000 passport applications across Longford and Westmeath.
There are currently 800 people waiting on a passport in Westmeath. 600 are renewals with 200 first time applications.
In Longford, 300 applications are currently in the system. 200 are for renewals with 100 first time applications.
Deputy Flaherty commented, “The challenge of clearing this backlog will be significant and I hope it can be addressed soon. While obviously the fundamental reason for having a passport, that of international travel, is not of huge importance right now, nonetheless it is essential that we resume normal service as soon as possible.
“The target for vaccination is for 80 percent of adults to have at least had one jab by the end of June. Similar targets exist across Europe. If these are achieved, it is likely that more traditional patterns of international travel will resume and we could see significant demand.
“The European Parliament approved Digital Green Certificates this week. These may well be needed for international travel too, but they won’t arise for many people if they don’t have the most basic travel document, a valid passport.
“We are told that the backlog can be cleared in 6-8 weeks. Let’s get moving on it now,” concluded Deputy Flaherty.