More people are searching for Irish family ties after Brexit

Lynsey Barber
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People are hunting for Irish family connections (Source: Getty)

If you've considered trying to track down some long lost family from the Emerald Isle in the past week or so, you're certainly not the only one.

In the wake of the Brexit vote, one website specialising in tracking down your roots has experienced a spike in searches for Irish heritage since 23 June.

Membership of has surged 40 per cent after the vote, while daily searches of Irish records have surged 20 per cent, the website revealed.

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"The question of British identity has been brought into focus for many because of the referendum. The spike in interest in people investigating their family history is likely linked to that, alongside a more general curiosity about European or international identity," said its country manager Sue Moncur.

"A lot of people have also been concerned about the impact that separation from the EU may have on freedom of movement between the UK and EU countries. It seems likely that the rise in searches of our extensive Irish records might be a direct result of people looking for a link to Ireland or an Irish ancestor," she continued.

"Millions of British people have Irish ancestry so the increase in search activity suggests a trend in people looking to confirm their links to Ireland, possibly with the longer term goal of applying for an Irish passport."

Ireland reported a huge rise in enquiries about obtaining Irish passports in the aftermath of the vote, even creating a backlog for the department which deals with them.

According to Google, searches the day after the vote for Irish passport applications jumped, with the majority coming from Northern Ireland.

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Irish citizenship is automatically given to anyone who is born in Ireland, or with parents born there. Those with grandparents from the country can also apply.

Meanwhile, Germany's vice chancellor suggested young Brits should be offered dual nationality by EU nations.

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