PASSPORT applications using An Post’s Passport Express service will no longer be processed in Cork following a decision by the Department of Foreign Affairs to centralise the service to Dublin.
However, the Department has said the decision is not a downgrade of the Cork office and instead, the workload in the South Mall office is to increase.
Up until this week, applications from people in Munster using the Passport Express service were sent to Cork for background and entitlement checks. However, a decision has now been made to centralise the entitlement checks of such applications in Balbriggan in Dublin.
The Passport Express service is a partnership between An Post and the Department of Foreign Affairs whereby applications are accepted at post offices, delivered to offices in Dublin and Cork and new passports posted out to applicants’ homes.
Post offices around Munster were told last week to dispose of Passport Express envelopes that were addressed to the South Mall office. The envelopes have been replaced with new one addressed to the central processing office in Balbriggan.
Despite the decision, a spokesperson for the Department told the Evening Echo the office on South Mall was not being downgraded. The Cork office will now handle the more complex work of entitlement checks for all Northern Ireland, UK, and foreign missions passport applications.
As well as this the Department said there would no changes to counter services in Cork which would continue as normal. The Department said the decision to redistribute the processing work was to increase efficiency.
“The Cork office will continue to deal with the authentication of Irish documents for use abroad, foreign births registrations, and assisting with documents required for marriages abroad. The Cork Passport Office plays a critical role within the passport service and processes a third of all passports,” the spokesperson said.