Passport printing machine in Cork would take the pressure off
THE Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has been urged to give consideration to purchasing a passport printing machine for Cork.
Seán Sherlock, Cork East Labour TD, said a Cork-based passport printing machine would alleviate waiting times.
“There is huge pressure on the passport office at the moment, with long delays with first-time passports for children,” Deputy Sherlock said.
“Another machine, based in the Cork Passport Office, would take the pressure off Dublin and service the wider Munster area.”
Mr Sherlock had asked Minister Coveney in a recent parliamentary question whether consideration might be given to the purchase of a Cork-based machine, and was told the Passport Service’s equipment was sufficient to meet demand.
Despite the Minister’s response, Deputy Sherlock said, his office had dealt with constituents complaining of lengthy delays for passports and he felt that a Cork printer would reduce waiting times and allow urgent passport collections to recommence in the Cork office.
“A cost/benefit analysis of such a printer should be initiated as soon as possible,” Mr Sherlock said.
The Passport Service is composed of three constituent offices located in Lower Mount Street and Balbriggan in Dublin and South Mall in Cork
It currently has three passport printing machines, all based in Dublin.
Each passport printer has a printing capacity of 250 passports per hour.
According to a 2019 parliamentary reply, a new machine would cost approximately €2 million.
In his Dáil reply to Deputy Sherlock, Minister Coveney said the Passport Service issued over half a million passports in 2021, with simple adult renewals averaging 10 working days.
However, he said, it was experiencing a high volume of first-time passport demands, which take 40 working days.