Embassy worker challenges Minister’s refusal to consider citizenship application

Action taken by woman who has lived and worked since 2006 as cleaner and cook at Argentine embassy

was granted yesterday by Mr Justice Daniel HerbertThe Judge

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A Filipina cook at the Argentine embassy in Dublin has brought a High Court challenge against the Minister for Justice’s refusal “to even consider” her application for Irish citizenship.

The action has been brought by Florita Rodis (59), who has lived and worked since 2006 as a cleaner and cook at the embassy, in which she resides, at Brookville, Simmonscourt, Dublin 4.

Barrister Colm O’Dwyer told Mr Justice Daniel Herbert that Ms Rodis had applied to the Minister for naturalisation, but had been informed late last May that she was ineligible for Irish citizenship as she did not have the required “reckonable residence”.

She believed her employment at the embassy was the reason why her application had not been considered and believed she was entitled to have her application considered by the Minister and that she met all the conditions for naturalisation. Mr O’Dwyer told the court Ms Rodis had permission to live and work in Ireland. There was nothing either in Irish law or in the UN Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that barred somebody who was a member of staff of a diplomatic mission from seeking Irish citizenship.

Diplomatic advantages
Diplomats and their children were not entitled to seek citizenship of countries where they worked, and while Ms Rodis had some diplomatic advantages, such as paying her taxes to Argentina, she was not a diplomat, nor did she have diplomatic immunity.

Ms Rodis is seeking an order quashing the Minister’s refusal to consider her application. She is also seeking an order compelling the Minister to consider her application.

Mr Justice Herbert granted her permission to bring the action, and made the matter returnable to October.