The number of people in Northern Ireland applying for an Irish passport topped 24,643 during the first two months of this year, more than 419 per day, according to new figures.
In fact, the demand for Irish papers in Northern Ireland is so high that, for the first time ever, people in Northern Ireland applied for more Irish passports than UK papers.
Analysts have said the uptake in Irish passports being issued in Nothern Ireland is a direct result of the UK leaving the EU. Ireland, and this its passport holders, is still a member of the EU.
As a result, more than a third of all residents of Northern Ireland now hold Irish citizenship, at least 660,427 people since 2012, according to a report in The Irish Times. This is roughly 35 per cent of the entire population in the region.
During the same 12-year period, up to January this year, 1,070,518 UK passports were issued, accounting for roughly 59 per cent of the population.
The remaining 6 per cent of the population did not apply or renew their passport or holds another nationality.
Both UK and Irish passports last 10 years before expiring.
The Belfast Agreement agreed that people born in Northern Ireland have a right to identify themselves as British, Irish or both, so they have a right to carry dual citizenship.
Access to the EU
The latest numbers from Belfast come as City A.M. reported earlier this year that Brits will have to start paying €7 per person and pre-register their details in order to enter the European Union from this year.
Access to all Schengen EU countries will come at a cost from later this year. When approached by City A.M., a spokesperson for the European Commission in Brussels confirmed all British travellers will have to pay a €7 visa fee.
The so-called European Travel and Information and Authorisation Scheme (ETIAS) enables citizens of 61 non-EU countries to visit the EU Schengen area with travel pre-authorisation, rather than a full visa.
The European Commission confirmed that, from late 2022, the UK will be part of ETIAS, meaning that Brits will have to pre-register their details before any trip, as well as pay the €7 levy.
Once the pre-authorisation has been approved, British passport holders will be allowed to stay in Europe up to 90 days.
The European Commission confirmed the payment and pre-registration will apply for any trips to all Schengen area states, plus the non-Schengen micro-states of Andorra and Monaco.
This means the ETIAS requirements will be in place for any trip to Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia, San Marino, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Czech Republic, Malta, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland Vatican City.