Young Brook O’Shea, 11, from Ballincollig, Cork, is supposed to be flying out for a family reunion tomorrow but it looks likely she will not make the flight as her passport hasn’t arrived
A desperate mum is making a last-minute plea to get her daughter a passport today as the family is set to fly out to Lanzarote tomorrow for a big family reunion.
Lorraine O’Shea, from Ballincollig in Cork, applied to have her 11-year-old daughter’s passport renewed back on December 1 and has spent €145 on the process to date.
The mum said the process has been an “absolute nightmare” and her daughter Brook will be “very upset” if she can’t go.
Cork city councilor Thomas Gould is calling on the Government to invest in a “passport printer” as 2,591 people in Cork are currently waiting and many are in the same position as Lorraine, CorkBeo reports.
Lorraine had no idea when she applied for Brook’s passport two months ago that the process would be so difficult and time-consuming.
“The online application didn’t work even though payment was taken, it just told me that I needed ‘additional information’ but didn’t say what that was supposed to be.
“It’s incredibly difficult to get in touch with the passport office on the phone as they only appear to take calls between 3pm and 4pm, so when I wasn’t getting anywhere I booked an appointment, which cost me €120 to speak to someone in the passport office in person last Tuesday,” Lorraine said.
“However, just before my appointment the passport office canceled and said no one could see me.
“The only thing left to do was cancel the online renewal and try and pay more for a four-day turn-around on her passport, so I did that last Tuesday, and the woman on the phone told me that it could take 48 hours to get an email back to say the online application was cancelled, and 30 days to get a refund for my appointment,” she added.
Lorraine still hasn’t received an email to confirm her daughter’s online application is cancelled.
Now with less than 24 hours to go until her daughter is set to fly out to Lanzarote she has had to tell her that it’s unlikely she will get to go.
Lorraine said: “She was supposed to go to her uncle’s birthday party with her dad and all of her cousins, she still hasn’t packed a bag because she doesn’t think she will be able to go.
“Even if she could get her passport in a few days time her godmother would fly out with her, but at the moment I’m only getting silence.
“I went and stood outside the passport office and handed in all my daughter’s documents but it didn’t make a difference, now I’ve contacted the Lord Mayor and everyone I can think of that can help.
“If by some miracle I can get her passport today or tomorrow it would be amazing, this would be the first holiday she is old enough to remember and I don’t want her to miss out on the experience of going away with the whole family .”
No one was available to comment from the Irish passport office.