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Britons applying for Irish passports double after Brexit vote



Applications for Irish passports from residents of England, Scotland and Wales have almost doubled following Britain’s June 23 referendum vote to leave the EU, according to new figures released Wednesday.

In the three months from July to September, 21,549 people applied for an Irish passport, compared with 10,959 in the same period last year, according to the figures from the Irish foreign ministry.

Applications for Irish passports in Northern Ireland also jumped to 15,757 from 9,401 in 2015.

Anyone born on the island of Ireland, or who has an Irish parent or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport. Estimates vary wildly but some studies estimate that at least six million British citizens could be eligible for dual citizenship.

Following a reported surge in demand for passports in the days following the referendum, the Irish government warned the figures should be treated with caution because of fluctuations in recent years.

However, the latest figures indicate a sustained interest by British people in rediscovering and taking advantage of their Irish roots.

Last month Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny told Newstalk radio that he expected a “spike in applications for Irish passports” following speculation that British citizens may require visas or to enter details online if they want to travel to an EU country post-Brexit.

“The Irish Ambassador in Britain has confirmed to me a doubling of the numbers over the past couple of months,” he said, adding that he was expecting “a further spike in applications for Irish passports”.

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