Irish citizenship and the law – a question of fairness


A chara, – Tens of thousands of people happily resident in the UK (and elsewhere) who, through sheer happenstance, have the good fortune to have at least one Irish grandparent already have, or are in the process of, applying for Irish nationality and passports. Many of them have never set foot in Ireland and many others have little real interest in Ireland. This is their right. This right is enshrined in Irish law and it must be respected.

At the same time we have hundreds, if not thousands, of children born in this country after January 1st, 2005, again by sheer chance, who actually live in Ireland, attend school here, and, with their families, are desirous to remaining here, making their life here and who want to contribute to Ireland. Yet, through the operation of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2004, the parents of these children first must prove that they have a genuine connection or link to Ireland before they are entitled to Irish citizenship. It may well be the case that many of these children and their parents may well be able to demonstrate the requisite connection. That is not, however, the point. In both situations, sheer chance and the vagaries of life are in play. Yet people who may never have set foot in this State seem to be prioritised over children actually born and living here.

It is high time that we, in this country, revisit the provisions of the 2004 Act. It is a matter of principle. – Is mise,