118. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if previous disqualification for eligibility for naturalisation arising from a number of offences will permanently disqualify a person (details supplied) in County Dublin from eligibility; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44580/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Section 15 of the Act provides that the Minister may, in her absolute discretion, grant an application for a certificate of naturalisation if satisfied certain statutory conditions are fulfilled. In particular, these conditions require that an applicant is of good character. The granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and I know the Deputy will appreciate that it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process. The Minister, having considered the application from the person concerned decided not to grant a certificate of naturalisation.
It is open to any individual to lodge an application for a certificate of naturalisation if and when they are in a position to meet the statutory requirements as prescribed in the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956 as amended. The fact that a person may have had an application refused does not preclude or disqualify them from submitting a fresh application in the future. Indeed, the letter advising the person concerned of the Minister's decision also informed her that she may reapply for the grant of a certificate of naturalisation at any time. The letter advised that, when considering making such a re-application, she should give due regard to the reasons for the refusal which were contained in the submission attached to the refusal letter and that any further application will be considered taking into account all statutory and administrative conditions applicable at the time of application.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.