MICHELLE Gildernew MP and Dungannon Town councillor, Deirdre Varsani, were among a Sinn Fein delegation who met with Portuguese Consul General, Carlos de Sousa Amaro, to discuss issues raised by the local Portuguese community.
Key among those issues was the “long and expensive journey” Portuguese nationals face if they want to renew their documents and passports, a process which currently necessitates a trip to Manchester.
Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson, who was also present at the meeting along with MLA and Education Minister John O’Dowd, meanwhile, has subsequently called on the Chief Electoral Officer to issue instructions to local Offices to accept European photographic ID cards issued by their national authorities.
“Some communities, such as the Portuguese do not have access to Passport renewal facilities here and must travel to Manchester to renew their Passports”, she explained.
Dungannon Councillor, Deirdre Varsani, said the presence of a Portuguese Embassy in Dublin would be “much more convenient, practical and more affordable”.
“Other embassies allow their citizens to travel to Dublin to renew documents, so there is no reason why the Portuguese Embassy cannot do likewise”, she added.