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History of Ireland
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How many Irish passports exist in the world?

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April 08, 2012 9:16PM

someone said 10million!

actually there is nearly 50 million Irish passports round the world mainly America and Britain

The answer above is utter nonsense. There are some 6 million people on the island of Ireland. Many of these identify with Britain and have no interest in taking out an Irish passport. Countless others just have never got around to getting a passport, because they don't travel outside the country, or else just go to Britain (no passport needed).

So the person who gave the figure of 50 million wants us to believe that there are ten Irish passport holders outside the country for every one in Ireland. What utter baloney!

The Irish authorities should have a good feel for this figure (though they are notoriously inefficient in these matters) but I would guess maybe 2 million outside Ireland have an Irish passport. The person who gave the ridiculous figure of 50 million is out by a factor of 25.

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Wrong, wrong, wrong. There are close to 70 million Irish passports world wide. Any child born to at least one Irish parent gets an Irish passport...and all their children get Irish passports. If one of your grandparents was Irish you get an Irish passport. The united states alone has over 30 million....and yes they do apply to get the passports because they are among the most useful (least restriction for travel)

People are getting mixed up between entitlement to an Irish passport and actually holding one. A child born to at least one Irish parent does not get an Irish passport automatically. Passports have to be applied for and expire after a maximum of 10 years. When asked about the number of Irish passports in circulation in 2006, the then Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern told Dáil Éireann (the Irish Parliament) that he could not say how many passports were in circulation but pointed out that between 1996 and 2005 some 4,650,000 passports were issued.

Given that many of these passports would now have expired (child passports have a maximum of 3 years). It would suggest that the number of Irish passports in circulation is probably around 3 million and nothing like the fanciful 70 million suggested above.