There are currently 727 Kilkenny applications outstanding with the Passport Office as local foreign travellers and holidays makers get ready to travel abroad.
Local Cllr Peter ‘Chap’ Cleere has said he is inundated with requests from individuals and families as they try to secure their passports in time for their holidays. It's causing huge stress and anxiety among hundreds of locals as they wait to see will there passport arrive on time.
Earlier this year the Passport Service 'paused' processing of routine applications, with the Department of Foreign Affairs saying it would deal with emergency and urgent essential cases only. The suspension, it was announced, would continue until restrictions eased.
“In normal times there would be 450 people working in the passport office with an additional 200 added during peak season to give a combined total of 650," said Cllr Cleere.
"However at present there are only 500 staff in total working through the applications, with 112,00 of a backlog to work through. This is simply not good enough and needs to be addressed by the Minister as a matter of urgency by ensuring additional staff are resourced to enable the backlog be worked through more efficiently and ensure people get their passports on time.
"In particular there seems to be significant delays with first time passports and passports for children. This has been further compounded by the recent HSE cyber attacks which delayed issuance of birth certs which are required for first time passport applications. A wait of up to 8 weeks can be expected here at present.”
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