We need a new definition of what it means to be Irish

Notion of citizenship should be less blood-based than our current model

Candidates during an Irish  citizenship ceremony at the Convention Centre in Dublin.  National identity and citizenship involve a degree of, for better or worse, commitment. If you are only Irish because Ireland is liberal would you give up the citizenship if Ireland became more conservative again? Photograph: Alan Betson

Candidates during an Irish citizenship ceremony at the Convention Centre in Dublin. National identity and citizenship involve a degree of, for better or worse, commitment. If you are only Irish because Ireland is liberal would you give up the citizenship if Ireland became more conservative again? Photograph: Alan Betson

The Brexit process has given Ireland many new dynamic and talented citizens. Nick Mazzei writing in The Irish Times last weekend gave a touching account of his distress at the self-destructive and inward-looking turn taken by the UK in Brexit.

He describes how this set him on a search for his Irish granny’s documents that ultimately resulted in the grant of Irish citizenship. Rightly, he does not want this citizenship to be merely a flag of convenience and sets out his commitment to live in accordance with Irish identity, which for him is based on social liberalism and internationalism.

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