I have requested the Government to establish a passport office to serve the citizens in the region.

“Speaking in the Dáil debate last Thursday evening on the passport crisis, I called on the Department of Foreign Affairs to establish a passport office in the West.

Presently there is an office in Dublin and Cork. It is discrimination against citizens in the West who have no option but to travel to Dublin or Cork if they get an appointment for an emergency passport.

I also called on Ryanair to be flexible in their approach to proof of identity for passenger going to the UK.

Ryanair are insisting on a passport only whilst other airlines and ferries accept other forms of identity such as a public service card or a driving licence. There is a common travel area agreement between the UK and Ireland and the authorities do not require a passport. This move by Ryanair would help people going to the UK where passports have expired.

Common sense should mean Ryanair would remove their rule in these times where the passport office is overrun with applications”.