Applications for Irish passports from residents of England, Scotland and Wales have almost doubled following Britain's referendum vote to leave the EU, according to new figures.

In the three months from July to September, 21,549 people applied for an Irish passport, compared with 10,959 in the same period last year, according to figures from the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Applications for Irish passports in Northern Ireland also jumped to 15,757 from 9,401 in 2015.

Estimates vary wildly but some studies estimate that at least six million British citizens could be eligible for dual citizenship.

Following a reported surge in demand for passports in the days following the 23 June referendum, the Government warned the figures should be treated with caution because of fluctuations in recent years.

However, the latest figures indicate a sustained interest by British people in rediscovering and taking advantage of their Irish roots.