Ever since the new e-pics passports were launched at the end of October, they've been in high demand. So much so, that reports to this newsroom tell us that the first batch is just about finished - and that currently there are only a few dozen left which are held as a reserve for persons with medical emergencies.

We did ask the Immigration Minister Eamon Courtenay for comment and he said, quote, "We will issue a release. Demand has far exceeded normal demand. We have had to bring forward resupply date." He would not confirm what number of passports are currently available to regular applicants.

Sources also tell us that difficulties at the department were compounded today when the system went down.

Channel 7