Suddenly it seems like every other British national abroad is dusting down their family tree to find some Irish connection in their bloodline that will keep them on the European side of the border.

The surge in applications for Irish passports by British citizens continues with 2019 on course to smash all previous records.

Before the Brexit vote in 2016 the number of applications received each year stood at a very stable average of around 45,000 per year.

An Englishman, an Irishman, and an Englishman Pretending to be an Irishman, Walked into a Pub ...
An Englishman, an Irishman, and an Englishman Pretending to be an Irishman, Walked into a Pub ...

This increased to 63,000 in the year of the referendum, then to 80,000 in 2017 and double the pre-referendum average in 2018 when it reached 98,000.

With the fears of some British living in Europe increasing due to the lack of progress in Brexit negotiations, the number of applications in 2019 looks like it will break all previous records by some margin.

In the quarter year to the end of March 2019, a total of 37,253 applications were received. If this pattern were repeated for the rest of the year the total number of Irish passport applications made by Britons would be just short of 150,000

Qualification Criteria

In order to get an Irish passport, it is necessary to first become an Irish citizen.

There are many ways citizenship can be obtained. These include by birth, by descent, adoption or naturalisation.

Citizenship is also automatic in many cases. This includes people born on the island of Ireland (i.e. North or South) before 2005 or anybody who has a parent who is an Irish-born citizen.

See also

How to Obtain Spanish Citizenship Through Naturalisation