Could it be Brexit? Irish Passport Office reveals record 700,000 passports were issued in 2016

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The Irish Passport Service has revealed it has issued a record number of passports this year.

They announced on Twitter over 700,000 of the documents were issued in 2016.

The office said last year they issued 669,806 passports and this is the "first time ever" they broke the 700,000 mark.

The rise is only less than 5% in total on the previous year, but the increase in the number of applications from Britain appears to be significantly higher.

Border in Ireland
Movement within EU nations has been cited as the cause (Niall Carson/PA)

Data leading up to October released by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade shows applications for Irish passports from Great Britain were up 42% on last year. In Northern Ireland applications were up 27%.

It's been five months since Britain voted to leave the EU and many have suggested Brexit is the cause of the rise as British residents look to gain Irish citizenship and retain their ability to move freely within the EU's Single Market once the UK leaves.