ID Cards

Irish e-passport

by Mark Rowe

A new Irish electronic passport (e-passport) has been rolled out. The US-based identity product company HID Global worked with DLRS Group, a security printing company in Ireland, and X INFOTECH, an installer and MultiPerso software suite developer, on the Irish e-passport project. According to the companies, they are providing an end-to-end solution including e-passport delivery, personalisation and production management.

Joe Nugent, Director of Passport personalisation centre with the Ireland Department of Foreign Affairs, said: “The new Irish e-passport was introduced by Ireland’s Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore and Minister of State, Joe Costello on October 1. We are very satisfied with all our partners’ teamwork, quality and professionalism to deliver our new and secure e-passport programme.”

DLRS, part of the Smurfit Kappa Group, is the prime contractor for the project. Beyond serving as the project manager, DLRS makes and delivers the new Irish passport booklets and configured the personalisation solution for the e-passports alongside partners HID Global and X INFOTECH.

David O’Connor, Sales Director, DLRS, said: “Our goal was to deliver a secure and flexible e-passport solution within the budget and timeline set by the Irish government. I am happy to report we exceeded our goal not only meeting time and budget parameters but creating one of the most secure and visually appealing e-passport designs to date.”

The new e-passport replaces the previous document. Its security includes HID’s polycarbonate electronic data page with contactless chip inlays making the passports it is claimed hard to forge or copy. The e-passports also have HID Global’s Crack Prevention Feature (CPF) for durability and reliability of polycarbonate e-passport datapages, especially those with embedded RFID chips. With CPF, according to the makers, governments can protect their investment by extending the life of ID credentials for up to ten years.

Rob Haslam, Vice President Government ID Solutions with HID Global, said: “HID Global is delighted to contribute to the new generation of Ireland’s e-passport and national eID programme. Our co-operation with the national agencies and our partners has been extremely constructive to achieve our common target to develop a flexible, efficient and very secure passport issuing solution for the benefit of millions of Irish citizens.”

X INFOTECH provided its MultiPerso personalisation for contactless chips including ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) data preparation.

Sergejs Jelisejevs, X INFOTECH Board Member, said: “Throughout this project it has been an honor to work with all the companies involved in designing and delivering the new Irish e-passport. Our MultiPerso solution not only provides innovative security technology but it ensures the flexibility to grow as Ireland’s e-passport needs evolve.”

The new passport features images of Irish landmarks including the Croagh Patrick, Kylemore Abbey and Croke Park, and drawings depicting Irish music and dance and Gaelic games. According to Mr Gilmore, the Tánaiste and Minister for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “Irish passport holders travel more often and to more destinations than at any time in the past.” More than 630,000 Irish passports were issued in 2012 and the Republic of Ireland has about 4.5 million citizens who could potentially be issued these new passports. All three companies were invited to the official launch event at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin, on September 30, 2013.

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