Mid Ulster MLA Emma Sheerin has lent her support to the campaign for an Irish passport office in the north
Mid Ulster MLA Emma Sheerin has lent her support to the campaign for an Irish passport office in the north of the country and has shared her frustration with problems within the application process.
“As a local representative I find myself signing a huge volume of forms on a weekly basis, particularly as we approach the traditional holidaying season,” said the Sinn Féin MLA.
Sheerin’s role involves providing help to those who have encountered difficulty with their applications and voiced her frustration at the current system.
“As part of my role I also aid people who have encountered issues with their applications, and often times there are simple solutions to these, but because it is so difficult to speak to an operator, things that could be sorted out in a matter of hours take days and weeks to resolve.
“Added to this that northern applications are assessed and checked in the Passport office in Cork, and what we are left with is a truly unsatisfactory system.”
As well as geographical distance, applicants often have to deal with unclear communication and layers of bureaucracy and Sheerin feels that an office in the north would greatly aid the process.
“I have found that unclear communication from the passport office regarding the required documentation is often the cause of the problem. They often neglect to inform the applicant until the application has been in the system for weeks, causing unnecessary delays and obviously frustration.”
“It stands to reason that if we had a passport office in the north, which would be more accessible to residents from Donegal to Antrim, issues would be easier to resolve.”
“In the meantime, our office in South Derry has a supply of blank passport forms and we are happy to sign them for everyone.”
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