12 May 2022
By Tom Collins
Minister needs to bring forward new ideas – Thomas Gould TD
Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central has reiterated his call for a passport printer in Cork to be made operational. His comments come in response to figures he received through Parliamentary Question which show that over 9000 people living in Cork are currently awaiting a passport.
Deputy Gould said:
“The Minister and the government knew this was coming. It was very clear that there was going to be a huge surge in demand for passports. Covid delaying holidays coupled with Brexit has meant that we are now seeing this expected surge.
“But the Minister doesn’t seem to be bringing forward any new ideas. Of the 9053 people awaiting a passport in Cork, 5360 have actually completed the process and are simply awaiting processing.
“I’ve had families miss holidays, have to leave children behind and reschedule holidays because of these. The strain that staff members in the passport office are under must be immense – it is very clear that the staff and resources just aren’t there to deal with the demand.
“What worries me is that, and we see this across the public service, unless the Minister increases the staffing and resourcing we are going to start to lose staff from burnout.
“I do appreciate that the Minister has increased staffing levels somewhat. Unfortunately, it’s clear that this obviously isn’t enough. The Minister now needs to strongly consider using a printer in Cork to decrease the processing time for passports and relieve some of the burden from staff. Without this, more people are going to miss out and the levels of stress being experienced by the public, and by staff, won’t reduce.”
General non-political advice from TheCork.ie
One way to speed up a Passport application is to ensure your documents are in order. This is especially true when applying for a child’s passport where the child has only one parent (guardian). A child is defined as anyone under the age of 18, and in that case, it is the parent (guardian) who drives the application, not the child. In particular, it is understood processing delays occur when an Affidavit of Sole Guardianship is incorrectly completed, including a Commissioner for Oaths forgetting to sign and rubber stamp the rear of the document. If you are using a Commissioner for Oaths it is suggested ensure they are familiar with the form. There are many experienced Commissioners for Oaths in Cork., who can be found via Google.