338. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a sworn affidavit may be of assistance in authenticating a relationship to their late parent in respect to making an application for Irish citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30697/19]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, as indicated in my response to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question No. 117 of 20 June 2019, 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 it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.
All persons making an application for a certificate of naturalisation are required to provide satisfactory documentary evidence of their identity and nationality. This is usually in the form of a currently valid passport and may include other original supporting documents, such as a previously held or out of date passport, birth certificate or register of birth and marriage certificate.
In rare circumstances where an applicant cannot produce their current passport, or a previous passport, birth certificate or other supporting documents the applicant will be required to provide a full explanation. Such explanation should, where possible, be supported by satisfactory evidence that they have attempted to obtain such documentation and correspondence from the relevant authorities or embassy responsible for the issuing of passports and birth certificates in their country, clearly stating the reasons the documentation cannot be provided. The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will consider the explanation given and, if satisfied it is for reasons genuinely beyond the applicant's control, may suggest alternative means to the person to assist in establishing their identity and nationality.
As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship is governed by specific legal provisions and an assessment as to whether an application is eligible or not can only be made after an application has been submitted.
Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department 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 the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.