'People fear the return of the border in Northern Ireland', says Irish World editor

'People fear the return of the border in Northern Ireland', says editor of the Irish World

There has been an increase in numbers of applications for Irish passports

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Irish World newspaper has reported an increase in people applying for Irish passports ahead of the EU referendum, and its editor, Bernard Purcell, claims that it's down to a fear of the return of the Northern Irish border. 

"There's 200 additional staff that have been bought on in the Irish passport office to deal with the backlog," he told Sam Delaney. "They can't say it's a sudden increase because of people in the UK, but they've seen the increase in the last few months.

"You do get quite a significant level of support should you find yourself in trouble overseas, because Ireland’s foreign service is considered its elite public service."

Purcell also claims almost all political parties want Britain to remain with the union.

"Britain and Ireland are as close as they ever have been. One of the reasons they are, is because they're equal partners within the European Union.

"It's only the DUP who are actually opposed to [staying in the EU]."

He believes people's main concern is over the Northern Irish border.

"[If Britain leave] we're going to see the return of the border up in Northern Ireland, which is what people fear anyway, which would undermine some of the progress we've seen in recent years.

"Even though there's free movement between Britain and Ireland, if Britain should vote to Leave, that means that the border with Northern Ireland because [it is] the border between Britain and the EU."