Patrick’s Day panic as passport office closes due to flooding – Donohoe

16th March, 2010

Fine  Gael Dublin Central Senator, Paschal Donohoe, has said the people who are attempting to have passport applications processed today (Tuesday) must not be prevented from doing so because of the fact that the passport office on Molesworth Street has been closed due to flooding.

Senator  Donohoe went on to say that the Department of Foreign Affairs must ensure  that  adequate emergency contingency plans are put in place so that those who are hoping to have passport queries dealt with can be facilitated in doing so.

“The  scene  outside  the  passport office in Molesworth Street office this morning  really  was  a sight to behold as people became increasingly tense and panicked about the status of their applications.

“The  public’s  efforts  to  obtain  new passports or have out of date ones renewed  have  been  seriously  thwarted  in  recent weeks owing to ongoing industrial  action.  However  the complete closure of the Molesworth Street office  this  morning because of floods has understandably sent people into an emotional tailspin.

“With St. Patrick’s Day upon us and the Easter break just a couple of weeks away  people  are  understandably  anxious  about  application renewals and planned travel arrangements.

“Emergency  passports  are being issue by the Department from Iveagh House.  However,  what  might  be  an  emergency  for the person hoping to visit an infirm relative may not be considered as such by departmental officials.

“Some  empathy  needs  to be shown here. Minister Martin must stay in close contact  from  the  U.S.  with his officials to ensure that the appropriate measures  are  put  in  place  to  deal with this crisis situation at home.  People  must  not  be  prevented from carrying out their travel and holiday plans this or any other week because of a few inches of water in Molesworth Street.”