Irish citizens will be able to renew their passports from anywhere in the world next year with the launch of a new online renewal system.
The implementation will be part of an €18.6m allocation given to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Budget 2016, €4m of which is being made available to the Passport Office to fund the move to online applications.
The Irish Times reports that the system should be up and running in the first quarter of 2017 with a full service for all applications by 2019.
The announcement comes after applications rose by 10% from January-June with recent spikes from eligible British citizens following the Brexit vote and Irish fans travelling to the Euros, requiring the Department to hire hundreds of additional temporary staff to clear the backlog of nearly 70,000 applications.
The number of Irish passports issued almost double since 2000 from 388,000 to 670,000, half of which are renewals.