[Sinn Fein]

6th July 1999

Dublin should set up Irish passport offices in the North

Mid-Ulster MP Martin Mc Guinness has said that he has been lobbying the Irish Government to open Passport in the North.

Mr McGuinness said:

Irish citizens living in the Six-counties should not have to travel to Dublin or to the boarder post offices in order to avail of what is their birthright- an Irish Passport.

I have been lobbying the Dublin government for some time now to have Passport Offices opened in major centres population in the six counties. I believe that initially officers should be opened in Belfast and Derry with satellite offices opening wherever the demand would warrant.

Those living in the twenty-six who wish to carry a British Passport can go to offices in Dublin and Cork. Therefore there is no logical reason why this type of service for Irish Passport holders should not be available here in the North where the demand is much greater for Irish Passport than that for British Passports in the twenty-six counties.

I will come to press for this service to be established here. Easy access to an Irish passport should be a right, not a privilege.

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