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Cork East Constituency Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, has again emphasised the need for anybody considering travelling abroad for business or pleasure to make sure they have a valid, up to date passport prior to booking any flight, ferry or accommodation abroad.

Deputy Stanton said: “The stress that people experience having expended, quite often, a considerable sum of money on booking a family holiday only to discover that not all passports are in order can be overwhelming.

“I would therefore strongly encourage those looking to travel in the coming months to check the validity of all passports now and where necessary apply to the Passport Office, in good time, if a renewal or a first-time passport, very often for a baby or a young child, is required.

“The turnaround time for online applications is usually quite fast provided the application is a straightforward renewal. However, applications for first time passports for children or for long expired adult passports, can take considerably longer at over twenty working days on average. If possible, applicants should look to submit their passport applications online via the Department of Foreign Affairs website given that physical paper-based applications via the Post Passport system can take 8 weeks or more to be processed.

“My strong advice therefore is to not take a chance and to ensure that passports are in order before making any foreign travel arrangements”, concluded David Stanton.