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Irish passport applications surge after EU referendum

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Uncertainty over Brexit has seen a huge surge in applications for Irish passports by Britons with family connections to the Republic.

There were around 45,000 applications in the first half of 2018, almost the same as for the whole of 2015, the year before the EU referendum.

:: The current rules state that an applicant is only entitled to an Irish passport if they are an Irish citizen.

:: Irish citizenship can be acquired by birth or descent or through naturalisation. If you are the spouse or civil partner of an Irish citizen you can apply for citizenship through naturalisation if you meet certain conditions.

Neale Richmond, chairman of the Brexit committee in the Irish senate said there had been a year-on-year increase in applications since the vote to leave the EU.

“At least 10% of the UK’s population, not including Northern Ireland, are estimated to qualify for an Irish passport and in light of Brexit, many including a number of my own family members are staking their claim to an Irish passport,” he said.

“Figures released to me by the Irish Embassy in London have shown that there is no sign of this rush for Irish passports abating.”

He added: “While many in the UK are concerned with the looming disaster of Brexit, we must seize the positives from this new wave of people reconnecting with their Irish heritage, our post-Brexit UK-Irish relations can be built on a strong, connected, diaspora.”

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