I sent off another email today to the Department of Foreign Affairs asking if they could provide me with a time frame in which I could expect a reply to my original email sent on the 3rd February last regarding the special passport service provided by TDs.
In my original email I asked a series of questions two of which were:
What is the specific reason for this service given that the Passport Office already provides a very efficient service that covers all eventualities?
Given that this special system provided by TDs is a legitimate service involving State employees and State funds it must obviously be open to all citizens. Could you direct me to a source of official information on the service?
I also phoned the Passport Office again to enquire if there was any reply forthcoming to other questions I had asked earlier this month regarding this special service. No answers yet but I was assured that my queries were being dealt with.
Later in the day I spoke to Fine Gael TD, David Stanton, who has tabled a number of questions for me on the matter in the Dail. He informed me that the Minister for Foreign Affairs was conducting a review of the facility including whether it should be continued.
According to a report in today’s Irish Times (Sub. Required) backbench TDs from all parties are expected to oppose any attempt to end the special service.
Fine Gael TD Michael Ring is quoted as saying;
“It is a good system. It doesn’t do any harm. We are not doing any harm, and we are helping.”
I strongly disagree. The service is nothing more than a Tammany Hall scam whereby TDs provide a favour for their constituents in return for a vote.
The service should be discontinued but if it is to remain then details should be available to all citizens on the Passports Office website.