Ministers Flanagan and Stanton congratulate 3,500 new Irish citizens from over 120 countries
21 May 2018
The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, will today (Monday) congratulate approximately 3,500 new Irish citizens originating from over 120 countries across three Citizenship Ceremonies in the Killarney Convention Centre, Co Kerry. The Presiding Officers on the day will be Retired High Court Judge Bryan McMahon and Retired District Court Judge Paddy McMahon.
In an address to the new citizens, Minister Flanagan will say: “It is a great privilege for me to be here with you in Killarney on this very special day, the day on which Irish citizenship will be formally conferred on you during this simple but solemn ceremony. On becoming Irish citizens you will have the same rights, the same duties and the same responsibilities as every other Irish citizen. We ask you, as we ask all our citizens, to participate actively in our communities, to be good citizens and to uphold the law. The possibilities opened up to you in Ireland today are almost limitless; perhaps one day you, or a child or grandchild of yours could be up here as Minister for Justice, or as Judge, or perhaps the President of Ireland.”
Amongst those receiving their citizenship today will be 93 year old Claude Cooke, born in January 1925. He will join another 338 people of UK nationality in taking up his Irish citizenship. The United Kingdom is the third most common nationality to be receiving citizenship today following 683 people originally from Poland and 388 originally from Romania (full list of top ten nationalities to receive citizenship today is below).
Minister of State Stanton will say: “Together with your family and friends here today, we join with you in celebrating this major event in your life. Today, you will take an oath of fidelity to our nation and loyalty to our State. You will do so in the knowledge that this relatively young State - still less than a century since our independence was gained - is a place of culture where traditions are cherished and history is ever-present. Be sure, too, that this State is a place of diversity and openness. The people of Ireland are committed to respecting all traditions on this island equally. We also recognise that developing a greater understanding of our shared history, in all its diversity, is essential to developing greater understanding and building a shared future.”
Today’s ceremony brings the total number of citizens to have received their Certificates of Naturalisation to over 86,000 across 131 ceremonies since Citizenship Ceremonies were first introduced in 2011. If minors are included, who are not required to attend a ceremony, the total granted Irish citizenship since 2011 is over 119,000 people from 181 different countries. The top ten nationalities of persons naturalised in that time are: Poland, India, Nigeria, Romania, Philippines, Pakistan, China (inc Hong Kong), Ukraine, South Africa and Bangladesh.
Today’s ceremonies are the first time that large scale citizenship ceremonies have been held outside of Dublin. The Killarney Convention Centre will be the home of Citizenship Ceremonies in 2018 and 2019. Details on the process for applying for Irish citizenship can be found at http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/citizenship
Notes for Editors
Top ten nationalities for today’s Citizenship Ceremonies
United Kingdom 339
China (including Hong Kong) 87
Date: Monday 21 May 2018
Location: Convention Centre Killarney
Ceremony approximate start times: 11:00, 13:15, 15:20.
Filming is permitted within the confines of the auditorium only.
All journalists and photographers should present appropriate NUJ/PPAI ID upon arrival.
Free shuttle buses will operate from the bus and train stations as well as from Scotts Street from 8am and a complimentary park and ride service will operate from the carpark located behind Killarney Brewery on Muckross Road.
Hotel, Guesthouse and Bed & Breakfast operators are asked to advise their guests to use the shuttlebuses and park and ride facilities, as parking in the vicinity of the INEC, The Gleneagle and The Brehon will be limited. Traffic delays are anticipated and so attendees are asked to allow extra travel time. Residents too are advised to allow extra time for journeys in and around Killarney on Monday.