Over 500,000 Irish passports have been issued by the Passport Service so far this year, according to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

He said that applications for passports have increased by an average of 10% over the same period last year.

Mr Coveney said concerns surrounding Brexit have led to a rise in the number of applications. 

He said the Passport Service has seen a significant rise in the number of citizens from the UK applying for an Irish passport this year.

The minister added that there is a general buoyancy in the Irish economy, which means more people are moving to Ireland with more people "wanting to be Irish". 

He said it looks like 800,000 passports will be issued in 2017.

Mr Coveney said: "The online passport renewal service, accessible at www.dfa.ie/passportonline, has, since its launch at the end of March, contributed significantly to our ability to meet the high demand for passports. Online renewals now account for almost 17% of all applications, well ahead of initial projections.

"The target turnaround time for online renewal is ten working days plus postage. In actual fact, 90% of online applications are currently being processed within just five working days.

"We are also meeting the target turnaround time of fifteen working days for Passport Express renewals, despite the extremely high volumes being received. First-time applications and applications to renew lost or stolen passports take longer because extra checks are necessary."

Last February, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that due to an increase in Irish passport applications, the Passport Office was recruiting extra staff.

It said that Brexit had resulted in a rise in submissions from Northern Ireland and Britain.

Anyone who has a parent or grandparent born in Ireland is entitled to an Irish passport.