Passport offices in Dublin and Cork should be reopened.
That’s the call from the Irish Travel Agents Association which says it’s frustrated at delays in issuing passports, meaning that some consumers have had to cancel their travel plans.
Though the backlog has dropped in recent weeks from 112,000, more than 90,000 of the documents are still outstanding.
Bagenalstown native Pat Dawson heads up the ITAA and he’s been telling KCLR News many have been hit hard, saying “Disgraceful carry on as far as we are concerned, we’ve had numerous people on, we’d very sad cases where somebody’s passed away in another country and a sister or a brother hadn’t got a passport and all that kind of really serious family issues, never mind holidays or never mind business travel so the big question is why isn’t the passport offices in both Dublin and Cork opened, they are an essential service and essential offices have been open now for months”.
He adds “Also there were many people who have booked holidays in September, October, they have sent in passports and their new passports seemingly can be actioned very quickly we’re told but it’s very hard to believe I mean the Tanaiste said that 120,000 passports can be done in a week, well how come there’s a backlog of over 90,000 at the moment and certainly whoever is running the passport office, the office senior civil servants really need to come out and put us in the picture of exactly where we stand”.
And Mr Dawson summed up his group’s appeal by saying “I want to see the passport offices both in Dublin and Cork reopen again and I was to see civil servants deployed on calls and on helplines in order to alleviate this mess which has been created by the government and that needs to be done urgently and not in three or four weeks time”.