Dáil Éireann - Volume 433 - 29 June, 1993
Written Answers. - Issue of Passport.
Mr. J. Mitchell Mr. J. Mitchell
110. Mr. J. Mitchell asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if, in view of the circumstances of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8 and the hardship being caused due to the charge for a passport, he will issue a one year passport to this person for a nominal sum; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring) Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring)
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): The passport fee regulations no longer provide for the issue of annual passports and that is therefore not an option open to me.
As I indicated in reply to a similar question from the Deputy (10 March 1993) I appreciate that the standard passport fee of £45, while not unreasonable, may cause hardship for certain categories of applicants. A number of special provisions are already in place to help reduce this hardship: a three year passport, which costs £10, is available for persons under 18 or over 65 years of age; a collective passport, which costs £45, is available for groups of young people of over five and under 50 persons, who are travelling on educational, cultural or pilgrimage purposes to certain countries; a collective passport is also available for groups of invalid pilgrims travelling to Lourdes; a low season fee of £35 was introduced on a trial basis last year for applicants who apply for their passports during October and November. The campaign proved very successful and will be continued this year.
These provisions should cover the large majority of special cases and, as a matter of general policy, I would not think it desirable to introduce too many exceptions to the standard fee. However, I understand that, in the particular case of the applicant mentioned by the Deputy, the person concerned will not qualify under any of the existing special provisions. Having considered the details of the case, I am prepared to examine  the scope for introducing a provision whereby in certain clearly specified and properly documented medical circumstances, a reduced cost passport can be made available to applicants. The Passport Office will be in further contact with the applicant on the matter.
Dáil Éireann 433 Written Answers. Issue of Passport.