100,000+ New Irish Citizens
2018-01-15 17:01:00 -


By Chinedu Onyejelem


More than 100,000 immigrants have naturalised in Ireland following the introduction of citizenship ceremonies in June 2011.


According to the Department of Justice, the number includes over 79,000 adults who took part in 128 citizenship ceremonies and over 21,000 minors, who are not obliged to attend the ceremonies often held during school hours.


Justice said the new Irish citizens since 2011 come from of 178 different countries, and that half of the top 10 nationalities are from Asia: India, the Philippines, Pakistan, China (including Hong Kong) and Bangladesh. 


The remaining five nationalities include two from the African continent, Nigeria and South Africa, as well as three from eastern Europe – Poland, Romania and Ukraine.


In an end-of-year review published by his department, Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he was “delighted to congratulate the 6,850 new Irish citizens who were formally conferred with citizenship over the course of 2017.


“It was a particular privilege for me to be able to attend some of these ceremonies in person and to share in these special days where we welcomed the newest members of our national family. I look forward to seeing the invaluable contributions each of these citizens, and their children and grandchildren to come, will make to our country.”


It has also emerged that the number of UK nationals applying for Irish citizenship has sharply increased since 2014.


“Some 520 British nationals received Irish citizenship … in 2017. Since the referendum in the UK, there has been a notable increase in applications for Irish citizenship from British nationals,” said Minister Flanagan.


“In 2014 there were 46 applications for Irish citizenship by British nationals; in 2016 this rose sharply to 573, and in the first six months of 2017 my Department received a further 634 citizenship applications for British nationals. 


“Indeed, the day after the [Brexit] referendum result was the busiest 24 hours ever for the INIS website. It is anticipated that applications from UK citizens will increase as Brexit proceeds.”


The minister praised the work of his officials in the citizenship section in making the naturalisation ceremonies memorable occasions. He also highlighted how they were able to organise a special ceremony to aid one particular candidate.


“One applicant received a life-changing medical diagnosis between receiving her invitation to the October ceremony and the actual date. Her illness rendered her too ill to attend. 


“However, a member of staff of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service and the presiding judge for the ceremonies, [retired] Justice Paddy McMahon, were able to attend at her house and the oath of fidelity was taken by her in her home.”


The next citizenship ceremonies will be held in April 2018.



TAGS : New Irish Department of Justice Citizenship Ceremony
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