Department of Foreign Affairs faces backlog of 30,000 complex foreign birth registrations, many of them post-Brexit applications by U.K. citizens

The Department of Foreign Affairs said they were snowed under with a backlog of more than 30,000 complex foreign birth registrations, many from UK citizens looking for Irish passports after Brexit.

In pre-budget discussions, the department said it had been a difficult year for their passport services, as they struggled to deal with a bounce-back in demand after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

In a letter to the Department of Public Expenditure, they asked for an extra €15 million in funding this year to ensure no backlogs and to help pay for a Passport Reform programme.

The department said they had been granted an extra €10 million for 2022 to help in issuing a record 1.2 million passports this year.

And they said they would need to retain the same allocation this year with passport applications again predicted to be around 1.2 million in 2023.

In the letter, Department Secretary General Joe Hackett wrote: “During 2022, we have seen multiple record months for the number of applications received.

“As you are aware, we encountered some customer service issues, particularly in relation to our call centre. This was primarily due to the challenges in the recruitment of staff. I am pleased that these issues have now been resolved.”

Mr Hackett said the extra funding would also be used to tackle a 30,000-long backlog in “complex foreign birth registration applications”.