By James Cox
A new Irish “Passport Card” will be available from mid 2015. The new card will be €35 and available to everyone over 18 who already possesses a passport. Speaking at the launch for the new card, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Charlie Flanagan said, “The new card will be particularly useful for frequent travellers as it will allow people to travel within Europe while their passport book is with an embassy as part of a visa application process. The new card will also provide a useful backup travel document within Europe in the event that someone loses their passport while travelling.”
Initial reaction was very mixed particularly on Facebook and Twitter with many people labelling the card as nothing more than a money racket. However, consider your average student. Who hasn’t stuffed their passport into a back pocket for I.D. whilst queuing to get into Diceys or Copperface Jacks? For some its worse when a drink gets spilled on it making that cheap night out very expensive after all. With the new card students can say goodbye to battered and lost passports sacrificed in the name of a good night out.
At thirty five euro this seems a bargain. Of course I.D. is not the only function of the new cards. Everyone has experienced the panic of misplacing a passport just before a trip. For the most part it turns out to be a false alarm but sometimes this is not the case. That leaves two options: if there is enough time, a stressful wait for hours to secure an emergency passport or the second and worst case scenario; no holiday. This card cuts out the unnecessary panic as you can keep it in your wallet with your bank cards. Valid to travel anywhere in Europe, the card will become a frequent sight in Dublin airport on hopefully stress free trips.
photo: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade