The Irish Passport Saga

Getting a passport in Ireland is sometimes like trying to win the Lottery?
You take your chances. Here is one persons true account – still ongoing.


 

SITUATION: Josephine Ann (Joanne to her friends and family) Rudd (Nee: Seery) lived for most of her life in her parent’s home prior to marriage. This address was xxx Xxxxxxxxx, Drogheda, Co Louth. During her late teens she obtained a bank account without the then legal need for the producing of a passport or either photographic ID. Birth cert and other documentation was enough. After marriage to Jeffrey (Jeff) Rudd, her Permanent TSB bank account name remained unchanged and the postal address for bank letters sent out, remained unchanged. The mail was still going to the parents’ house.

Josephine’s mother died in the last few years – then her father died after that . The family house was then sold – approx’ Jan’ 2021. Joanne wanted to change her bank account address and get a new bank card as the old one was faulty. Immediately the bank asked for photo ID.

Important to note:

* Joanne never needed a driving license as she never drove anything or even learned.
* Joanne has a PPS card previous – but this did not morph into a PSC (card) as her children’s allowance was paid directly into her bank account as per usual.
* She cannot get a PSC card without photo ID – and yes, she has tried.

In order to gain further access to her bank account Joanne (Josephine Ann), sought to change her name on the account from Josephine Seery to Josephine Rudd (now married) and change the postal address. To do that, the bank is now requiring Photo ID. The only thing she can obtain is a passport for which she has applied for, twice now – as of 30th of April, 2022.


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FIRST APPLICATION:

Joanne applied for her passport in October 2021. She supplied ALL the form listed required documents. Every one of them.

In November 2021 she gained a reply asking her for more documentation – more proof (of what was already supplied) of current address (not parents’ “Ballsgrove” location) – but her now married address with her name on letters or statements. The passport office gave Joanne SEVEN days in order to get this to them. She knew as soon as she was notified of this request, it would be impossible to send within the time the Passport Office stated.

Left with no choice, she had to cancel her first passport application (Nov’ 9th 2021) in order to get her already supplied documents back – then work on getting the additional round of secondary documentation – and thereafter, hopefully reapply a second time, as soon as possible. Getting the additional required documentation took time – as all bills that got the married address location on them, were in the name of Jeff, the husband.


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SECOND APPLICATION:

On the 14th of February 2022, Joanne resubmitted her passport application to the Dublin Office. Joanne again supplied ALL the form stated, required documents – as well as the additional letter showing current postal address with her name on it.

• The document was an official statement from the Drogheda Housing Council office office regarding rent payments made for the house she still resides in with her husband Jeffrey and six children.

Days later, Joanne gained an email from the passport office confirming they had received it.

The online tracker system, on the passport.ie website told Joanne that she MIGHT gain her passport by the 3rd of May, 2022. In other words, three months after applied for it – and this was no guarantee by the passport office she would get it by then.

After that Joanne heard absolutely nothing. We, Joanne and Jeff Rudd, waited with patience, hoping for the best.

  • All this continuing time Joanne has had no access of any description to her own bank account.
  • No I.D. ability to change her address.
  • No I.D. ability to stop the letters going out to the old parent address, to a house now long sold.

Friday, 22nd of April, the Passport office sent Joanne an email. In it they stated the following:

Additional supporting documents are required to complete the processing of your passport application. Please submit the following documentation:
– Please provide government issued photo identification (eg. an original drivers licence or a certified copy of the same – by a solicitor or notary public; or a copy of your Public Services Card PSC card, both sides; or an original passport or a certified copy of the same);
– an original, for example, utility bill, bank statement or government correspondence as proof of use of name.
(you provided 1 utility bill which gives proof of address, note a second separate piece of correspondence is required as proof of name usage ).

Regards,
The Passport Service

You must use the ‘Generate Cover Page’ link below to generate a new cover page to submit with your supporting documents. This will be valid for 7 days from the date of this email.

END.

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Important To Note.

  1. Joanne has never drove so does not have a provisional nor a full drivers license.
  2. Joanne does not have a PSC card. She actually needs a passport to actually go get one, she was told.
  3. All household bills are in the husbands name – Jeff Rudd.
  4. No bank letters previously are being sent to Joanne living at her married location – or will be in the future for the time being – so she cannot provide this.
  5. Joanne has gained no government correspondence in years/decades that has had her present address on it.

Even if Joanne was to try get or arrange to get any of the above by Jeff changing bills into her name, it would not be able to be done within a seven day time period.

So, both faced yet again with having to cancel Joanne’s second passport application – if only to try get back the original documents (birth cert, marriage cert, council proof of address, etc,) so that they might then be tried used elsewhere to seek a bank problem by any alternative process.


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THE BANK ISSUE:

The sold parents house, a year on from the death of the second parent, was still getting Joanne’s bank statements even though she was no longer living there. They were being sent to the new occupiers repeatedly.

Joanne’s card had become very badly damaged (melted) by heat, to the point where even any number on them could not be distinguished – so she could not even read them to anyone asking. She hadn’t any recent bank statements for obvious reason, later going to the sold – wrong – house, in years. When Joanne tried to call the bank helpline, they asked for numbers that she could not give.

Up to last Friday, 22nd of April, the bank letters were still going out to the old address, a property now in new owners hands. We do not know what they did with the information in those letters. With the information contained with, have they called the bank phoneline and tried to claim that a card had been lost or stolen – and could a new one be sent out to the (still old) address on the account. Could they have then went and spent all the money in the account?

Joanne, the real owner of the account has no way of even checking if her money is still in the account and to what amount if it hasn’t been illegal taken?

On Friday, 22nd of April, Joanne and Jeff finally convinced through a phone call made, the bank to stop sending out the correspondence to the old address. “No bank letters will be going anywhere for the time being” it was stated. There’s no word if the account is frozen completely, for example, till ID is brought into a branch,  that they are willing to accept. No word if anyone else with a possible illegal obtained card, can still take money out as the Children’s allowance is monthly paid into it!

Joanne cannot access bank information about all this and/or what’s further going on with the account. Her money could or might not be stolen. She has had absolutely no way of previously checking or being allowed no way to further check. Her stress levels as you can imagine are seriously affecting her mental health as the family are going into more debt – due to unable to access money in their name.


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On  Friday, 22nd of April, Joanne called the passport office for three and a half hours. No luck getting through. No one answering. For the same time period she tried to speak to someone online through the Passport office webservice. Finally, after 3.5 hours someone text answered. Joanne was rudely cut off mid-stream in the latter part of this conversation while she was still stating her situation. Here is the text of that conversation.

* sections edited out for security reasons*

2022-04-22 11:14:06 | System:     You are now connected to Divisha.

2022-04-22 11:14:16 | Joanne Rudd: Hello?

2022-04-22 11:14:25 | Agent:      Thank you for contacting the Passport Office. My name is Divisha. How may I help you today?

2022-04-22 11:14:27 | Agent:      For data protection reasons, could you confirm the applicant’s full name, date of birth and mother’s birth surname, please?

2022-04-22 11:15:24 | Joanne Rudd: Josephine Anne Rudd, xx/xx/xx

2022-04-22 11:15:33 | Joanne Rudd: Mother birth surname Xcccccc

2022-04-22 11:15:42 | Agent:      Thanks. Can I have your application number, please?

2022-04-22 11:15:50 | Joanne Rudd: xxxxxxxxxxx

2022-04-22 11:16:11 | Agent:      Sorry, that number is not a valid application number.

2022-04-22 11:16:28 | Agent:      The application number is on the confirmation email that was sent to you.

2022-04-22 11:16:28 | Joanne Rudd: xxxxxxxxxxx

2022-04-22 11:16:53 | Joanne Rudd: That’s the number provided on the email sent to us

2022-04-22 11:17:23 | Agent:      Am I speaking with the applicant?

2022-04-22 11:17:39 | Joanne Rudd: Yes

2022-04-22 11:18:03 | Agent:      May I have your address and email address please?

2022-04-22 11:18:22 | Joanne Rudd: xx Xxxxxxxx Xxxx, Xxxxxxxxxxxx Xxxx, Drogheda, Co Louth.

2022-04-22 11:18:33 | Joanne Rudd: xxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com

2022-04-22 11:18:51 | Agent:      Thanks. Your application number is xxxxxxxxxxx . How may I help you?

2022-04-22 11:19:53 | Joanne Rudd: Office has sent an email asking for items. We have ALREADY sent the requested items. Email asked for photographic ID. I don’t have any – that’s why I’m applying for a passport.

2022-04-22 11:21:14 | Agent:      You provided 1 utility bill which gives proof of address, note a second separate piece of correspondence is required as proof of name usage (in fact, the utility bill ALSO HAD Joanne’s full name on it). An original, for example, utility bill, bank statement or government correspondence as proof of use of name has to be sent to the office. If you do not have photo ID you will have to obtain it and send it to our office so this application can be processed. I hope this information has been helpful, is there anything else I can help you with today?

Joanne began to type the following…

2022-04-22 11:21:37 | Joanne Rudd: All the bills are in my husband’s name.

2022-04-22 11:22:27 | Joanne Rudd: We cannot get a bank statement because we cannot access my bank account without ID – in other words, a passport for which we are applying for.

2022-04-22 11:23:11 | Joanne Rudd: I cannot get a PSC card because they ask for Passport ID – which I cannot get – till I get my passport!

10 seconds later, Joanne got the following message. A message by the way that would have been totally impossible for any sender to type in 10 seconds – so it was sent BEFORE she had finished stating her case and situation.

2022-04-22 11:23:21 | Agent:      This application will not process until we receive the documents. You are advised to send in the documents required. Documentary requirements are the same for everyone who applies for a passport. Any other agent you speak with will give you the same information. I have given you all the information I have on this application at this moment. I am now ending this chat. Please feel free to contact us again if you have any additional queries. Thanks for contacting the Passport Service, have a great day.

2022-04-22 11:23:26 | System:     The agent has ended this chat.

 

Jeff and Joanne both sat, staggered that Joanne was cut off midstream, trying to resolved the situation – then to be told “Please feel free to contact us again if you have any additional querieswhen the passport member of staff was even unwilling to hear out the current queries that were tried to be put and attempt to ask for further possible solutions! It was like a slap in the face to Joanne. Very upsetting and frankly, very humiliating.

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Again, important to note; (a) Joanne cannot get photographic ID. (b) She was told she cannot get a PSC because she has no passport. (c) She cannot get her passport according to the passport office (and bank – see below) because she has no PSC.

The photographs (signed on the back by Joanne) and all the certs/documents given into the Drogheda Garda station – all certified as genuine and valid – were apparently no longer acceptable or not enough confirmed and certified photographic ID for the Passport office.

Question. When did it become that such certification of photos provided to a Garda and then confirmed as valid, become no longer valid in the application of a passport?

No longer valid or acceptable enough now by a state office, Joanne has to gain by some miracle, yet another form of photo ID that she cannot actually get – yes, till she gains her passport!

One crazy situation you might think. However, things were to get further worse…

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Note the following dates.

Friday, 22nd of April, the passport office told Joanne by new email gained, that she had SEVEN days to obtain the further photo ID required (seeing as Garda certified photo ID is apparently no longer acceptable enough).

Thursday, 28th of April, Joanne gained through home letterbox, her previously supplied, second application documents. Proof LINK

In other words – taking into account that such post would have to be sent at least one or two days before it then arrived at the Rudd home, the passport Office didn’t even have the decency to stick with the bare minimum seven days they had stated in the email to her, the previous Friday!

Reaching out to already informed TD’s including independents, 17 ministers secretaries, ministers themselves, opposition elected and further more, a top raking professional person who has wrote state laws and still till to date – is HIGHLY regarded – who can pick up a phone, call direct to top state department ranks and top elected by private number – suggested that Joanne gain a further form of legal, Garda certified identification. 100% legal and by law, cannot be refused.

Friday 29th, April, 2022.  Joanne with the appropriate paperwork, passport type photos, marriage cert, birth cert, proofs of living address and more, went to the Drogheda Garda station for the send time in 2022. There, the Garda ONCE AGAIN certified that Josephine (Joanne) Rudd was who she claimed to be and there had NO problem further issuing a form of Garda ID certification that was and still is 100% legal and by law, CANNOT BE REFUSED.

Joanne left the Garda station with this legal certified ID – then headed directly to her Permanent TSB bank.

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From Jeff’s Facebook page – LINK

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Update on the #PassportSaga for those following Mr & Mrs Rudd’s adventures.
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Went to the wife’s bank this morning – the Permanent TSB – accompanied with my wife. With us we have EVERY document possible – birth certs, marriage certs, proof of address, etc and – NOTE THIS – Garda CERTIFIED identification.
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This Garda CERTIFIFED identification, the banks are BY LAW
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– confirmed by legal legislators spoken to
– confirmed by the Department of An Taoiseach
– confirmed by Simon Coveney’s own office
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legally obliged to accept the stamped, issued ID. After all, the Garda in Drogheda are 100% sure who my wife is, where she lives, she is of sound mind and not up to no good.
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The bank branch REFUSED to accept what they are supposed to accept BY LAW. Why? The staff member claimed it was banking policy not to accept the Garda CERTIFIED identification presented.
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So, let’s be clear here.
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Banking policy that has NO standing in law, according to the Permanent TSB staff member, was allowed to take precedent over our very banking laws as written in Ireland and additionally enshrined in European law.
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It gets better (or worse?)…
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We then went to the Department of Social Welfare to request an interview for my wife – so that she can then again try to gain a PSC (updated SW card). The member of staff we spoke to was very nice, very obliging – but he had to apologise to us – because of something that is 100% NOT his fault. A very nice man to deal with.
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“We can get you an interview but it probably be in or around 16 weeks at least. With all the Ukrainian’s flowing into the country and they being given automatic precedent, we are only now (29th, end of April 2022) starting to get around to the February batch of issuing cards applied for, from that time.”
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No mention of this massive backlog of course, on media. More #RTEcensored stuff. Dare you even raise it, you must be a racist of course! …And that’s before we get to the many months long matter over my wife passport application attempts – which we now have to try apply for a THIRD time – at another €100 a gamble…
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The Passpost saga continues… It’s an average day in #Ireland2022
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PS. Such is the ongoing antics of bank and passport state department, my wife’s situation might be referred to in an upcoming Dail question being put.
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  • ID the Permanent TSB is illegal refusing to accept.
  • The Permanent TSB breaking the law – by putting their non-legal policies ahead of state laws.
  • Still without PSC card – and up to a four month wait for that alone, to be gained.
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A number of TD’s were again contacted on the matter, to try positive progress the matter. The response from the TD’s was “If you can find any kind of way to get some sort of human response from the passport department or the Department of Foreign Affairs, could you please let us know how you do it?
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They weren’t joking. This is our very own TD’s. They are flummoxed. Think about the implication of this and others trying to resolve increasing ongoing issues for their constituents.
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Did you know that if TD calls the Department of Foreign Affairs is contacted more than three times by any particular TD in any one week, they are disconnected! Once the phone or logs show that a TD is calling and indicates the number of calls that week, it’s either make or break as if their own call to the Department can further proceed. Again, imagine just how much ‘up the creek’ are our elected in trying to resolve issues under these circumstances!
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Did you know that by law, by passed legislation, if the passport office loses items and it happens weekly, the said department are legally required to notify you what specific items have got lost! In reality, they don’t do this, as this would be an admission that they have lost stuff – records would then quickly amass how often they further lose stuff (they can’t be having that!) – and they do this very, very regularly – but you’re not supposed to know just how regular they do this.
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Instead, they send out letters to people that have already sent documentation in, that they (actually) have not supplied certain items (when they indeed have). They then request “these items” be sent in to them (again) as soon as possible. Officially, they say “they were not received” – even if they were sent – and subsequently lost!
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After 17 ministers were directly tried to be contacted on passport saga matter, NONE OF THEM were to be found on the day to take any calls. They were phoned by a personal person very known to them and highly respected. A very specific person highly regarded who knows departments inside and out, who has helped write written legislation – and even for that person, they were nowhere to be found. Heaven help Ireland if there had been a national crises that day?
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After those attempts, a top specific official within the Office of the Taoiseach was contacted directly.
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The official was asked:
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Is there a fire in the Dail?
No… Why do you ask?
…Because none of them are answering their phone or want to be contacted!
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This is now an average day of ministers, never mind other government elected, who it’s thought, are trying to avoid being contacted or worse, questioned on matters that supposed to be under their remit.
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One particular department is in utter chaos. FUBAR 100% and there’s no indication of it being able to be able pull it’s head out of it’s backside and the minister over it, are phone, email, avoiding and possibly avoiding having to face cameras and microphones when it’s not convenient to doing a pitch about something they will only take questions on – and nothing else!
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As for the Passport Saga itself – as of 30th of April
– its status remains “To Be Continued…” 
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QUESTIONS

People have asked certain questions. Some similar questions have been asked from many people – who have not read the previous replies to their own, now repeated questions. Here are some of those questions and answers;

  1. Can a local TD not help? ANSWER: Joanne and Jeff have contacted many TD’s – including independents – and even local Drogheda councilors. Only one TD, Imelda Munster SF, replied. They are trying to assist with the PSC issue – but the months waiting is unlikely to change.
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  2. Have you been in touch with the Ombudsman? ANSWER: This is an ongoing process also  as well as chasing the passport office, the Department of Social Welfare and the Permanent TSB bank.
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  3. Have you given what the Bank standard requires? ANSWER: Yes – including Garda certified ID, as well as proof of current address, birth cert (that also has the previous address on it), marriage cert, other official council letters with wife name officially on them and more.
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  4. Is there an unemployment office, where people go too sign on too get their dole money? That office will sort you out? ANSWER: Read above. Been there already. Told FOUR MONTHS wait just to get an interview for it – to even try get it after that.
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  5. She must be omitting her her PPS number? ANSWER: Absolutely not. She and I are just not that stupid. We have incorporated that information EVERY time, MULTIPLE times with each application.
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  6. Can you not go to a solicitor? ANSWER: Yes, we can – but that will take money to do. Money we do not have. Joanne has money – but absolutely cannot get to it – which is why we are trying for a passport and/or PSC. By the way, going to a solicitor will burn up very quickly the very money she is try to get to! We will again, still have to wait many months of trying, for a third time, after applying once more, for a passport. €100 for each attempt! Great little state racket this is, isn’t it?
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  7. Can you tell your wife to apply for refugee status – she might have new papers and passport in 7 days? ANSWER: We are doing everything by the book, by law – and still that’s not working. Others – Drogheda Permanent TSB bank staff – now appear to be willing to break further laws.
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  8. Can you book an appointment with the passport office and bring everything in by hand? ANSWER: “Our office is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.LINK

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