Many families have said that they are missing out on holidays due to very long passport delays, which has led to criticism of the passport service.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Passport Service has received an unprecedented volume of applications and in the last three days, over 21,000 passports have been issued.

It said it has issued over half a million passports in less than five months, which is over 80% of the total number of passports issued last year.

One mother has said that she was frustrated with the length of time taking for her son's renewed passport to arrive.

Sharon Good, from Baldoyle in Dublin, said that the estimated arrival time for the passport was nearly one month after her son Ethan was due to go on a holiday.

The mother of two said the application was received on 6 May, but the tracking service says the estimated dispatch date is 1 July.

Ethan is due to go on holiday next Thursday, but Ms Good said that she is losing hope he will be able to go.

She said she has "relentlessly" tried to contact the passport office with no luck.

"I keep refreshing the webchat page and I have the phone and laptop constantly on," she said.

"I took time off [work] on Wednesday morning to wait for the phone lines to open. I rang at 9am and straight away it was engaged, I couldn't even get into a queue."

Ms Good said that between 9am and 10am on Wednesday, she rang 66 times but it was always engaged so she had no choice but to book an urgent appointment for today.

"We had to pay €195 for the appointment for today, that included €45 for a passport which we had already paid."

She said she had to work today so her daughter went, "bringing a letter of consent, as per the website" but she was turned away.

"If I had gotten through to someone on the phone, I would have known that myself or his dad had to go in."

Ms Good said "my argument is if I had been able to talk to someone on the phone, we would have had a passport today".

She said she is trying to book another urgent appointment, which she says will cost another €195, but has been unable to get an appointment.

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The Department of Foreign Affairs said that staff numbers have increased by over 340 since June 2021 and the Passport Service is running a recruitment competition, with the first new officers were assigned on Monday.

It said that once all new staff are assigned, staffing numbers will be over 900 at the Passport Service, representing a doubling of staff numbers since last summer.

A spokesperson for the department said Passport Service figures show that consistently, around 40% of applications in system are not fully completed.

The department said turnaround times, for fully complete and correct passport applications, are ten working days for an adult and 15 working days for a child.